A short item on something that’s been debated for too long a time.
“Debate” probably is the wrong verb. This is a post about the fair representation for emerging-market countries at international institutions and there really isn’t much debate around the idea that current arrangements are unjust. Yet here we are, in the year 2015, and Belgium still has more votes at the IMF than Brazil. Why is obvious change so difficult to achieve? (Don’t answer that. It’s a rhetorical question.)
Change could yet come. I was told at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Lima that the Obama administration was telling people that the US would ratify changes in governance of the fund -- agreed by most everyone else several years ago -- before the G20 summit in Turkey next month. Any pledge by the White House on this matter should be met skeptically. It is unclear if anything has changed in Washington. Leadership in Congress is in flux, with John Boehner’s resignation as House speaker. He will be replaced by Paul Ryan. “The House is broken,” Ryan said after his election this week, according to Politico. “We’re not solving problems, we’re adding to them. And I’m not interested in laying blame. We're not settling scores, we’re wiping the slate clean.”
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