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Oct 23, 2014

U.S. warns of sanctions on buyers of Islamic State oil

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Thursday threatened to slap sanctions on anyone buying oil from Islamic State militants in an effort to disrupt what it said was a $1-million-a-day funding source.

Islamic State has seized large swaths of Iraq and Syria in a brutal campaign, and could pose a threat to the United States and its allies if it is not stopped, U.S. Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen said.

Oct 16, 2014

Ebola must be stopped at source, not via travel bans: World Bank’s Kim

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Closing national borders to people from countries hit hardest by the Ebola outbreak is “not an effective strategy” for stopping the deadly disease, the president of the World Bank said on Thursday.

There is only one way to end the Ebola crisis, which is to stop the spread of disease in the three worst-hit countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the World Bank’s Jim Yong Kim told the Reuters Climate Change Summit.

Oct 12, 2014

Ukraine, Russia central bankers quip, shake hands in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Female central bankers from Ukraine and its bitter rival Russia took the stage together in Washington on Saturday and described differing fallout from the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Their governments in Kiev and Moscow may be at odds, but Valeria Hontareva, governor of the Central Bank of Ukraine, and Ksenia Yudayeva, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia, managed to joke about the irony of their encounter on a panel on the sidelines of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings – and to shake hands afterwards.

Oct 11, 2014

VTB head says keeps good ties with U.S. banks after sanctions

WASHINGTON, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Most U.S. financial
institutions maintain good working relations with Russia’s VTB
Group, which was blacklisted by the U.S. government over Russian
actions in Ukraine, the head of the banking group said on

Andrei Kostin, the chief executive of Russia’s
second-largest bank by assets, VTB Group, said some
Western banks were wary of closer ties due to the sanctions,
which limit VTB from raising longer-term debt and equity on U.S.
capital markets.

Oct 9, 2014

With world economy stuttering, governments urged to open purse

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – World economic leaders are being urged to rally around a plan to let government do what it does best – spend money – in an effort to buoy a global economy that remains slack and slowing.

The effort comes as six years of crisis fighting have lapsed with little guarantee the global economy is on a stable footing. Even Germany is in danger of slipping into recession, China has slowed, and U.S. policymakers are concerned a fresh world slowdown will stymie the U.S. recovery as well.

Oct 9, 2014

EBRD chief calls for development bank shake-up

WASHINGTON, Oct 8 (Reuters) – The world’s multiple regional
development banks need to work together better and shake things
up or risk becoming irrelevant, the head of the European Bank
for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Wednesday.

Suma Chakrabarti said the creation of the BRICS development
bank and a China-led effort to launch the Asian Infrastructure
Investment Bank were a criticism of the existing system for not
adapting quickly enough to incorporate new power structures and
the needs of emerging markets.

Oct 7, 2014

World Bank cost-cutting finance chief declines bonus

WASHINGTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) – The World Bank’s finance chief
said he would decline a bonus of $94,000 in a move that appeared
aimed at quelling discontent among staff who thought it out of
line given planned layoffs and budget cuts.

Bertrand Badre, the chief financial officer who has pushed
much of the cost-cutting at the bank, plans to turn down his
bonus, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced to applause
during a packed “town hall” forum for bank employees on Tuesday,
two sources told Reuters.

Oct 7, 2014

IMF cuts growth outlook, warns on euro zone, Japan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund cut its global economic growth forecasts for the third time this year on Tuesday, warning of weaker growth in core euro zone countries, Japan and big emerging markets like Brazil.

In its flagship World Economic Outlook report, the Washington-based lender cut its global growth expectations to 3.3 percent for this year and 3.8 percent for next year. In July it had expected growth of 3.4 percent in 2014 and 4 percent in 2015.

Oct 2, 2014

IMF warns of ‘mediocre’ growth, calls for coordinated action

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The global economy could be stuck on a ‘new mediocre’ growth path with high debt and unemployment unless policymakers open up labor markets, invest in infrastructure and reform fiscal policies, the head of the International Monetary Fund warned on Thursday.

Speaking after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi announced a plan to buy bundled debt in order to boost Europe’s flagging economy, Christine Lagarde said the euro zone in particular risks sinking into a morass of low growth as it grapples with high unemployment and low inflation.

Oct 1, 2014

Big bonus for World Bank finance chief sparks staff protests

WASHINGTON, Oct 1 (Reuters) – A $94,000 bonus for the World
Bank’s finance chief, disclosed in an internal blog, is drawing
criticism from staff who are questioning it amid planned layoffs
and budget cuts at the bank.

Bertrand Badre, the chief financial officer, who has pushed
much of the cost-cutting, received the bonus in “recognition of
his skills,” according to an internal World Bank blog seen by