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Bank of the South

From the Latin Americanist:

Bank of the South launched

Representatives of seven South American countries met on Sunday to formally launch the Bank of the South– a new regional development bank. In a ceremony in Buenos Aires, the bank was established with an initial capital of $7 billion and with the goal of acting as a viable alternative to other financial institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Though most of the countries allied to the Bank of the South are led by left-leaning presidents, one analyst told the BBC News that the bank shouldn’t be rejected merely over politics:

Michael Shifter, Latin American expert at the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue, said that while it was “tempting to dismiss the Banco del Sur because of the political agenda behind it”, he would advise skeptics to wait and see.

“Chavez’s political agenda is undeniable, but so is the money he has at his disposal right now,” he said.

“Over the longer run, the initiative will have real problems because of politicization, but in the meantime it would be a mistake to underestimate its possibilities.”

The Bank of the South’s founding members are Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Ecuador.

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