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One of the biggest global privatization pushers has stepped off its soapbox, publishing a report that admits privatization is not the answer to the worlds services needs. While the World Bank report isnt a manifesto to renationalize sold-off services, it does document corruption, reduced accountability, harm done to poor people and lower-than-demanded profits for corporations. The report appears to be, in part, a response to the growing and detailed critiques of privatization based on evidence from around the globe that have become louder and more united over the past decade.

While the report trumpets private sector successes and plays down failures, it still found declining corporate investment in services in both developing and developed countries, and documented some public bailouts of mammoth proportions New Zealands airline and Britains rail track owners among them. The bank notes dryly the discontent of investors seems in some countries to be matched by that of the general public, referencing popular uprisings against privatization in the developing world and a recent poll showing growing opposition to for-profit services in 17 countries.