Chapter 26: Financial institutions and social rights: from the Washington Consensus to the Lagarde Concord?
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This chapter sets out the social rights obligations of both public financial institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF, and private financial institutions such as banks. Moving beyond doctrinal analysis, it traces how the World Bank and the IMF have in practice over time improved their compliance with social rights. By contrast, the private sector has made little progress. Initiatives such as the Equator Principles turned out to be underwhelming, and the project of a binding treaty might yield modest results only. Nevertheless, there are inherent limitations to social rights in relation to financial institutions. Judicial review faces structural limitations and may only filter the most egregious cases. It is therefore necessary to make social rights an integrated part of decisionmaking in international organizations and include social risks in the calculation of regulatory capital for private financial institutions. This might prepare financial institutions for the possible transition to a postgrowth society.

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