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Debt relief, financial services and investment, international financial institutions
Clay Lowery is a visiting fellow at CGD. He currently serves as vice president for Rock Creek Global Advisors, an international advisory firm that assists clients to anticipate and seize opportunities in the global marketplace, while mitigating political and regulatory risk. He brings more than fifteen years' experience in the US government, primarily at the US Treasury where he rose from desk officer to assistant secretary for international affairs (2005-2009) overseeing all US government interactions at the IMF, World Bank, regional multilateral development banks, the G7, G20 and the FInancial Stability Board. He was also heavily involved in debt relief initiative including debt reduction for the poorest countries, Paris Club negotiations and the Iraq and LIberia debt negotiations in 2003 and 2008. Lowery also oversaw or negotiated financial service and investment chapters in a number of trade agreements. In addition to his service at Treasury, Lowery was one of the original staff of the Millennium Challenge Corporation in 2004 and helped drive its formation while serving at the National Security COuncil (2001-2002). He has served as adjunct professor at Georgetown University in international financial institutions and is a regular lecturer at the National War College.
Rich countries’ anti-money laundering rules are “causing a great deal of hardship” by making it very costly for migrants to send money home. So testified Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen before lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee in Washington this week. It’s a problem a CGD Working Group is looking at right now: the de-banking of remittance organizations by many banks that cite burdensome compliance requirements.
Instead of giving an income transfer, the IFC should provide financing and its expertise in a way that fits what it does best—investing in the private sector—while giving the IFC incentives to accelerate what it should do even better—taking greater risks in poorer countries.
Congress finally gave the administration what it has been asking for on IMF quota reform, and then some. At the same time, Congress didn’t just give the administration the ability to go forward on governance reform that gives more voting power to rising developing countries. It also included some potentially consequential conditions on its approval. Here we see risks going forward that are manageable but will require some skillful navigation by the next administration.