Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

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Lehman Brothers Collection

Twentieth-Century Business Archives

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development - Lehman Brothers Collection

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

List of Deals

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA) are two organizations that have come to be known as the World Bank. Together these organizations provide low-interest loans, interest-free credit, and grants to developing countries. In July 1944 a conference attended by forty-five governments was held at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. The Articles of Agreement for the IBRD and the International Monetary Fund were drawn up and adopted during this meeting.

The Articles of Agreement became effective in December 1945 with the signature of the following twenty-nine governments: Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, India, Iraq, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, Egypt, United Kingdom, the United States, Yugoslavia, Paraguay, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Iran, Peru, Mexico, and Chile.

In March 1946 the inaugural meeting of the Boards of Governors of the IBRD and the IMF was held in Savannah, Georgia. At the meeting, bylaws were adopted, executive directors were elected, and Washington, D.C. was chosen as the site for the two new institutions. At this time, the bank's capital stood at $7.67 billion.

Additional countries signed the articles of agreement during 1946, including Costa Rica, Poland, Brazil, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Denmark, Colombia, and Venezuela.

In May 1947 the executive directors approved the first bank loan, to Credit National of France, in the amount of $250 million for reconstruction purposes. In July 1947 the IBRD entered the bond market for the first time with an offering of $250 million. The offering was substantially oversubscribed and sold at a premium over the public offering price. The bank made additional loans during 1947: $195 million to the Netherlands and $40 million to Denmark for reconstruction purposes, and $12 million to Luxembourg for steel mill and railway projects.

The IBRD made its first loans to South America in 1948 when it lent $13.5 million to Chile for hydroelectric development. It also lent $12 million to four Dutch shipping companies later that year.

Poland withdrew from membership in the bank in 1950, claiming that the bank was subservient to the Marshall Plan and the intended subordination of Europe to the United States.

The bank continued to grant loans to a variety of different countries and for different purposes in 1950 and 1951. These included India, Iraq, Turkey, Australia, Uruguay, Ethiopia, and Thailand.

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