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Aid and Power in the Arab World: World Bank and IMF by Jane Harrigan, Hamed El-Said (eds.)

By Jane Harrigan, Hamed El-Said (eds.)

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Extra resources for Aid and Power in the Arab World: World Bank and IMF Policy-Based Lending in the Middle East and North Africa by Harrigan Jane R. El-Said Hamed (2009-06-15) Hardcover

Sample text

This leads to a problem of democratic legitimacy since a member’s influence or voting power within such a decision-making system does not in general correspond to its voting weight. Using voting power analysis,22 Leech and Leech (2003) show that the USA possesses considerably more power than voting weight in relation to ordinary decisions requiring a simple majority. They conclude, ‘Weighted voting tends to further enhance the power of the United States at the expense of all other members in both the board of Governors and the Executive board’ (Leech and Leech 2003 Abstract) and ‘Our principal result is that the voting power of the USA turns out to be far greater than its quota would warrant’ (ibid.

It is also worth noting that during the oil boom years, despite having high domestic saving rates and high inflows of foreign aid, investment in the MENA region was well below the saving capacity. Consequently, resources were mostly diverted towards consumption as well as non-productive investment. The extent of crisis can be seen when we look at key macroeconomic indicators for countries in the region who were to become major recipients of IMF and World Bank programme loans, namely, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.

Egypt Egypt received its first IMF loan in 1976 followed by a new phase of loans that commenced in 1987. The first 1976 loan does seem to coincide with a period of increased inflation and deterioration in the current account, although debt service, gross capital formation and GDP growth were not problematic. However, given that inflation and the current account are often regarded as critical indicators by the IMF it would seem that the 1976 loan reflects a degree of recipient need. The picture, however, is very different for the 1987 loan.

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