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OPIC, ExIm and IFI

IFIs or international financial institutions are multilateral government agencies involved in international lending and finance. One of these, the IFC or International Finance Corporation, is the branch of the World Bank that focuses on private profit-making projects overseas, not only providing working capital (provided by 174 governments) but also technical expertise to private initiatives.

OPIC and EXIM are both U.S. government agencies which use taxpayer or public dollars to facilitate private gains. Thus, taxpayer money is used to subsidize private purchases or guarantee private investments. The agencies draw criticism both from a free market angle as well as from an unfair redistribution of resources concern.

OPIC, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, insures U.S. private investments overseas so that if a U.S. private investment fails overseas, the government is there to bail the company out.

EXIM, the Export Import Bank, makes foreign loans so that U.S. private corporations can sell goods on credit.

To see how these organizations played a part in Enron's global dealings, read the 2/16/02 Washington Post article "Enron Spanned The Globe With High Risk Projects"