Soaring capital flows, a debt-based consumer culture and unbalanced trade between countries all contributed to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The question now is whether governments follow a 'business as usual' model based on self-interest and inequality, or one that promotes equitable development based on moral and social principles.
Austerity economics has not worked in one single case in
Europe in the last two years. By ignoring the teachings of John Maynard Keynes, European policy makers will deepen, not solve, the financial crisis and
millions of people will suffer needlessly, writes Jeff Madrick.
Goverments in both developed and developing countries are set to enact drastic cuts to public expenditures in coming years with potentially devastating social consequences, despite the evidence that austerity measures are useless to overcome the global financial crisis. By Social Watch.
The European bail-out is pumping public funds into largely unreformed private banks while Greece’s population pays the price under harsh austerity measures. A new ‘Debt Court’ would hold irresponsible lenders to account and protect the rights of those living in debtor states, writes Nick Dearden.
Western governments should
follow the lead of Hong Kong and impose a Financial Transaction Tax to
limit high frequency trading carried out by computers. This could be a big step towards a world in which finance
behaves responsibly and pays its fair share, argues a report by The Robin Hood Tax Campaign.
In developing countries and now in Europe, government debt allows creditors to exercise undue power over decision making. The Euro crisis is clear evidence that we need to break out of the economic straitjacket imposed by an over-powerful financial sector, says Susan George in an interview with Nick Buxton.
The Greek protest movement, formerly instigated by political parties and trade unions, is now energised by popular resistance to the severe fiscal measures imposed by foreign lenders. The latest austerity package has staved off a debt default, but will Greece’s democracy survive?
Cuts in spending on health, education and other social programs in response to high government debt threaten to turn back decades of social progress. Rather than giving in to austerity measures, governments should address the root causes of the financial crisis, says a report by UN DESA.