Established in 1944, under the Bretton Woods Agreement, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) was created to help rebuild Europe after World War II. However, the mission of the World Bank (WB) has evolved with the passage of time. Today, the WB’s primary mission is to reduce poverty, by offering developmental assistance to middle and low-income state members. One way to achieve the mission statement is to promote economic and policy prescriptions, which in turn promote economic growth. Good corporate governance is one of the prescriptions. Prior to 1998, the WB was not really preoccupied with good corporate governance and its accompanying politics. However, following the immensity of the Asian financial crisis of the 1990s—increased privatization, financial market liberalization, and high-profile corporate failures—the WB and the leaders of the so-called “G-7” came to the conclusion that corporate governance was much needed globally in order to prevent financial crises such as the Asian crisis from occurring again. In assessing member states, the WB relies upon the principles of corporate governance—as adopted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
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