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.
Since the crash of 2008, global justice activists have begun to make progress in reining in the excesses of the financial industry. Organising, education, and advocacy efforts have encouraged new policies aimed at ensuring a more equitable and sustainable economic recovery, says a report by Sarah Anderson.
By the end of 2009, governments in the US, UK and Europe had handed over 14 trillion dollars to the banks in a variety of support packages. Now, citizens are paying for the financial crisis a second time in the form of austerity, writes Susan George.
Analyses of what caused the 2008 financial crisis often focus on the lack of regulation and risky banking practices that preceded it. A new documentary highlights a driving factor that is often left unrecognised – unprecedented inequality, explains filmmaker Stephen Lambert.
Two years on from the biggest bailout in UK history, the country’s banks remain dysfunctional. Policymakers must not shy away from radical reform of the financial system to ensure resources are available for socially responsible investment, says a report by the New Economics Foundation.
A small tax on financial speculation will not single-handedly prevent another economic crisis, but it could take us a long way towards reining in Wall Street and meeting urgent social and environmental needs, says a report by the Institute for Policy Studies.
Borrowing is not the only alternative to spending cuts for governments trying to promote a sustainable economic recovery. The redistribution of income through progressive taxation can provide a similar growth stimulus and help to reduce inequality, writes Tim Bending.
As Europe frantically shores up an unravelling economic system, popular protests are erupting against adjustments made to placate the finance markets. Austerity measures and bailouts may keep the banks happy, but what about the people? By Anna White.