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 measures are not the only way to deal with government budget deficits that have burgeoned thanks to the economic downturn. Taxing financial transactions and bank bonuses offer a much fairer way to balance the books, argues Frédéric Lordon.
Over two years since the onset of the global financial crisis, many governments’ economic policies continue to prioritise a return to the status quo. Decision-makers should instead base their response on a human rights-based approach, says a joint report by Center of Concern et al.
After ceding to pressure from NGOs around
the world, the IMF opened up its process of investigating the possible impacts
of a global Financial Transactions Tax. Civil society must keep up the campaign
to ensure this progressive policy becomes a reality, says Jana Silverman.
The recent economic crisis has opened up new opportunities to reform the global monetary system. Using the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights as an international reserve currency is one option, says a joint report by ActionAid and Third World Network.
Despite a growing consensus among policymakers that greater regulation of the financial sector is needed, agreements made under the WTO are holding back meaningful reform. It is time to renegotiate this outdated liberalisation agenda, argues Jayati Ghosh.
Women have long been underrepresented in the financial sector. To ensure a meaningful recovery from the economic crisis, women will have to feminise macrofinance and imbue it with a renewed sense of social responsibility, argues Ann Pettifor in an interview with Elena Sisti.
On a structural level, the basic imbalances that caused the recent economic crisis have not been resolved. Despite renewed optimism amongst many analysts, the only reliable prediction for the immediate future remains uncertainty and continued volatility, says Jayati Ghosh.