openDemocracy on the global financial crisis of 2007-08:
Saskia Sassen, “Globalisation, the state and the democratic deficit” (18 July 2007)
Tony Curzon Price, “The end of gentlemanly capitalism” (13 August 2007)
Robert Wade, “The financial crisis: burst bubble, frayed model” (1 October 2007)
Avinash D Persaud, “The dollar standard: (only the) beginning of the end” (5 December 2007)
Fred Halliday, “Sovereign Wealth Funds: power vs principle” (5 March 2008)
Willem Buiter, “The end of American capitalism (as we knew it)” (17 September 2008)
From the Daily Times, Pakistan
* Pakistan Economy Watch president says IMF policies ruined 68 economies worldwide
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch has said that the popularity of International Monetary Fund (IMF) has dwindled significantly and it should modify its policies to increase the level of acceptance.
The popularity of fund established in 1945 is at an all-time low. Lack of customers has put its own existence in jeopardy. It’s high time for international lenders and IMF to reconsider their policies often blamed for enhancing poverty and gap between rich and poor, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President of the Pakistan Economy Watch. Continue reading
‘Development As A Tool Of International Institutions
By Vasudha Dhingra
02 September, 2008
MURPHY, CRAIG, Global Institutions, Marginalisation and Development (New York: Routledge, 2005). Pp. xi + 191 + Index. Price not indicated.
Global institutions, marginalisation and development are terms that have dominated academic discussions and policy-level deliberations for quite some time now. As is well documented, the goal of achieving development by simultaneously integrating the marginalised sections of the society has remained a serious predicament of several developing and under-developed countries. The role of global institutions of governance in facilitating these two processes has remained crucial and contestable.
Murphy, in this book, has attempted to analyse these relatively recent themes, with otherwise blurred definitional identities, from distinct perspectives – such as developmentalist, feminist and Third World view – adding to the intellectual appeal of the book. The following themes find recurring mention in the book: world organisation and human needs; liberal institutionalism; social movements and liberal world orders; marginalised and the privileged, which expanse across questions of equality, justice and need in global political economy. One of the author’s emphatic depositions in the book is that inequality is the enemy of human development; it harms those at the bottom of hierarchy (p. 182). By asserting that inequality by itself contributes to the ill-health of the marginalised, Murphy, by implication, has tried to argue that economic equality is a precondition for realising other aspects of human development. Continue reading
A great article by Simon Jenkins, published May 30,2008 in the Guardian –
GAZING briefly at the Eurovision song contest this week I could not rid my mind of a quite different image, that of Nato’s multilateral force headquarters in Kabul.
There was the same flag-waving and confusion of purpose, the same small-state rivalry and cynical balancing of interests. There was the same belief that, simply by being international, a so-called community of nations was forged.
Today the word “international” suggests tailored suits, tax-free salaries, white Land Cruisers and Geneva. The Eurovision contest is run by the European Broadcasting Union with 400 staff in Switzerland, with no risk of oversight or reform.
It may seem crude to leap from such mundane activities to world peace, but the ruling assumption is the same, that internationalism legitimises itself. It rises above (never below) the nation state and its rulemakers owe allegiance only to an ideal of global community, which means whatever they choose. The ever-more numerous world bodies to which nations subscribe need never pass the eye of any national audit Office.
It was only when America briefly withdrew from Unesco and capped its contribution to the UN that steps were taken to curb that organisation’s waste and corruption, which culminated in Kofi Annan’s obscene 2000 “poverty summit”. The only good thing to emerge from the warped brain of America’s former UN ambassador, John Bolton, was his reform package, and he blew it. Nor can Europe talk. The EU still cannot get its accounts past any reputable auditor nor control the outrageous expenses of its parliamentarians. Continue reading
Mohsin Babbar (the POST)
ISLAMABAD: The People’s Rights Movement (PRM) has slammed the new government for continuing to toe the economic policies prescribed by the international financial institutions (IFIs). It has warned that if there is no clean break off with the neo-liberal orthodoxy championed by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Asian Development Bank (ADB), providing economic relief to working people will remain a pipe dream.
Such a practice would make the new government indistinguishable from the previous one and it would soon become deeply unpopular amongst ordinary Pakistanis, said PRM according to a news release issued here Sunday. Zahoor Khan of PRM has said that the government’s recent promise to the WB to cut subsidy on oil reflects just how little sovereignty it actually enjoys. He said that in the past food subsidies have been slashed at the behest of the IFIs and the fallouts were now widely evident with basic food items almost unaffordable for even white-collar salaried families. Continue reading
This interesting study conducted by the Peace Dividend Trust assesses peacekeeping missions, their costs and benefits. It also debunks some of the negative myths and confirms some of the commonly held views on the subject. The Preface states:
United Nations peacekeeping missions presently spend about $5 billion a year and are
regularly criticized for a wide array of damage they are thought to do to the war-torn
economies into which they deploy. They are criticized for inducing inflation, for
dominating the real estate market, for co-opting the best local talent and for drawing the
most capable people away from both government and the local private sector. Despite
the broad range of criticisms, however, data on these economic impacts had not been
regularly collected or analyzed.1 Although nearly everyone who has been on a
peacekeeping mission in any capacity has an opinion on the topic, the actual economic
impact of a complex peace operation has been assessed only once, in 1993, in Cambodia,
while the United Nations operation there was still underway. There have been no other
detailed assessments of economic impact, until now.
Read the full text of this insightful study – though many might not agree with all the broad conclusions..