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Development & Debt Finance

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The 42-year graph below shows the widening economic gap between the poorer countries, where most of the world's people live, and the rich countries, whose governments control the international financial institutions and set global economic policy.


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GDP per capita, or a country's gross domestic product divided by its population, is a widely used measure of national economic performance. Although useful for international comparisons, GDP per capita can mask significant inequalities within nations. In most countries, much of the population lives well below the overall GDP per capita level.
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The World Bank (WB) is a shareholder company. More than 80% of the Bank's assets come from international investors. The bank's main activity is investment in profit seeking activities -- hard core investment supported by vigorous debt service procedures.
Whereas banks and companies can go bankrupt if they invest unwisely, the World Bank and the IMF can pursue their loans in perpetuity, irregardless of the loans having been given to dictators or incompetent borrowers and irregardless of whether the money actually benefited the poor.
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Farm subsidies are financial supports that governments give to their farmers and food corporations. Helpful locally, in international markets these subsidies affect the prices of food commodities, may undermine the ability of poor people to buy food and the ability of debtor nations to pay off their loans by selling their food products to other countries in the free market system.
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Net foreign direct investments: the money that investors - banks and corporations - voluntarily invest in development in a foreign country. The table above illustrates that those with money prefer to invest in the developed world.

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