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On Planning for Development and the Global Financial and Economic Crisis 2007-2009 (2011)
 Editor: Róbinson Rojas Sandford Castellano - Français
From UNCTAD - 19 March 2009
The Global Economic Crisis. Sistemic Failures and Multilateral Remedies

" - Market fundamentalist laissez-faire of the last 20 years has dramatically failed the test. Financial deregulation created the build-up of huge risky positions whose unwinding has pushed the global economy into a debt deflation that can only be countered by government debt inflation: – The most important task is to break the spiral of falling asset prices and falling demand and to revive the financial sector’s ability to provide credit for productive investment, to stimulate economic growth and to avoid deflation of prices. The key objective of regulatory reform has to be the systematic weeding out of financial sophistication with no social return..."   see more here Key messages

Paul Krugman - Princeton University
Paper presented at the 14th Jacques Polak Annual Research Conference Hosted by the International Monetary Fund Washington, DC─November 7–8, 2013

Currency Regimes, Capital Flows, and Crises

..."My answer is that claims about the vulnerability of floating-rate debtors to crisis haven’t been given any specificity because they do not, in fact, make sense. Simple macroeconomic models suggest that a loss of confidence in a country like the United States, taking place at a time when interest rates are at the zero lower bound, should, if anything, have an expansionary effect. Nor can one appeal to the lessons of history: cases resembling the hypothesized crisis scenario are rare, and those that exist don’t support the notion that Greek-style crises can take place under a very different currency regime. You may find it implausible that conventional wisdom, backed by so many influential people, could be wrong on so basic a point. But it’s not the first time that has happened, and it surely won’t be the last"...

Roberto Alvarez and José De Gregorio
Universidad de Chile - October 2013

Why did Latin America and Developing Countries Perform Better in the Global Financial Crisis than in the Asian Crisis?

The response of Latin American economies to the Global Financial Crisis was unprecedented. In the past, when the world got the flu, Latin America got pneumonia. Such was the case with the East Asian financial crisis, but this time was different. Emerging market economies were able to successfully weather the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. This paper looks at which factors explain better performance. Was it good luck? Was it good policies? In this article, economic growth during the global financial crisis is compared with growth during the Asian crisis. We look at the experience of Latin America and present econometric evidence for a large sample of countries, with special focus on emerging and developing economies. We find that exchange rate flexibility and a looser monetary policy played an important role in mitigating the crisis. We also find that higher private credit growth and more financial openness reduced growth. There is some evidence of good luck, but only within the sample of thirty one emerging markets. Better macroeconomic management during the recent crisis was key to the unprecedented economic performance.

Carlos A. Vegh - Johns Hopkins University and NBER
Guillermo Vuletin - Brookings Institution
October 21, 2013

The road to redemption: Policy response to crises in Latin America

This paper analyzes the …fiscal and monetary policy responses to crises in Latin America over the last 40 years. We argue that, on average, Latin American countries have graduatedin terms of their policy reponses in the sense that they have been able to switch from procyclical to counteryclical policy responses (with Brazil and Chile being prime examples). We further argue that such countercyclical policy response has been efective in reducing the duration and intensity of crises. Finally, we relate our analysis to the current crisis in the Eurozone and argue that it shares some of the features of the oldLatin America; in particular, procyclical …fiscal and monetary policy responses to crises in Latin America over the

From International Labour Organization
Global Wage Report 2012/13
Wages and equitable growth

Between 1999 and 2011 average labour productivity in developed economies increased more than twice as much as average wages. In the United States, real hourly labour productivity in the non-farm business sector increased by about 85 per cent since 1980, while real hourly compensation increased by only around 35 per cent. In Germany, labour productivity surged by almost a quarter over the past two decades while real monthly wages remained flat.
The global trend has resulted in a change in the distribution of national income, with the workers’ share decreasing while capital income shares increase in a majority of countries.
Even in China, a country where wages roughly tripled over the last decade, GDP increased at a faster rate than the total wage bill – and hence the labour share went down.
The drop in the labour share is due to technological progress, trade globalization, the expansion of financial markets, and decreasing union density, which have eroded the bargaining power of labour. Financial globalization, in particular, may have played a bigger role than previously thought.

From Project Syndicate
Sep 14, 2012

Cripped Capitalism - 9 opinions

"Four years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global economy remains mired in low growth and high unemployment. As the income gap between top earners – including bankers, brokers, and corporate leaders – and the middle class widens, many are beginning to question whether modern capitalism is sustainable, or even desirable."

From the New Left Review
NLR 71 Sept. Oct. 2011
The crises of democratic capitalism
Wolfgang Streeck

The collapse of the American financial system that occurred in 2008 has since turned into an economic and political crisis of global dimensions. How should this world-shaking event be conceptualized? Mainstream economics has tended to conceive society as governed by a general tendency toward equilibrium, where crises and change are no more than temporary deviations from the steady state of a normally well-integrated system. A sociologist, however, is under no such compunction.
Rather than construe our present affliction as a one-off disturbance to a fundamental condition of stability, I will consider the ‘Great Recession’ and the subsequent near-collapse of public finances as a manifestation of a basic underlying tension in the political-economic configuration of advanced-capitalist societies; a tension which makes disequilibrium and instability the rule rather than the exception, and which has found expression in a historical succession of disturbances within the socio-economic order. More specifically, I will argue that the present crisis can only be fully understood in terms of the ongoing, inherently conflictual transformation of the social formation we call ‘democratic capitalism’.

P. Krugman,
Presidential Addres, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, USA.
In Eastern Economic Journal (2011) 37, 307–312

The profesion and the crisis

“…the biggest problem we had as a profession wasn’t failure to keep up with a changing world, it was failure to remember what our fathers learned.
“…What we really need is a change in the destructive social dynamics that brought us to this point. And I wish I knew how to do that.
“…But my problem is obvious: I’m an economist, and it seems that we need some kind of sociologist to solve our profession’s problems..”
“…we would have responded better to this crisis if macroeconomics had been frozen at the level of knowledge it had in 1948, when Paul Samuelson published the first edition of his famous textbook.
“…And the result has been to leave actual policy discussion without any discipline from the people who should be shaping that discussion: politicians and officials have been free to follow their prejudices and intuitions, never mind the lessons of history and analysis.
"Economists have failed to fulfill their social function..."

How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?
By Paul Krugman
The New York Times: Published: September 2, 2009

It’s hard to believe now, but not long ago economists were congratulating themselves over the success of their field. Those successes — or so they believed — were both theoretical and practical, leading to a golden era for the profession. On the theoretical side, they thought that they had resolved their internal disputes. Thus, in a 2008 paper titled “The State of Macro” (that is, macroeconomics, the study of big-picture issues like recessions), Olivier Blanchard of M.I.T., now the chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, declared that “the state of macro is good.” The battles of yesteryear, he said, were over, and there had been a “broad convergence of vision.” And in the real world, economists believed they had things under control: the “central problem of depression-prevention has been solved,” declared Robert Lucas of the University of Chicago in his 2003 presidential address to the American Economic Association. In 2004, Ben Bernanke, a former Princeton professor who is now the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, celebrated the Great Moderation in economic performance over the previous two decades, which he attributed in part to improved economic policy making.

From U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics - October 2009

The employment situation - September 2009

Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployment persons has increased by 7.6 millions to 15.1 million, and the unemployment rate has doubled to 9.8 percent. In December 2007 the number of unemployed persons was 7.5 million.

The Revenge of the Market on the Rentiers
Why neo-liberal reports of the end of history turned out to be premature
José Gabriel Palma - Faculty of Economics - Cambridge University - June 2009

Abstract: Starting from the perspective of heterodox Keynesian-Minskyian-Kindlebergian financial economics, this paper begins by highlighting a number of mechanisms that contributed to the current financial crisis. These include excess liquidity, income polarisation, conflicts between financial and productive capital, lack of intelligent regulation, asymmetric information, principal-agent dilemmas and bounded rationalities. However, the paper then proceeds to argue that perhaps more than ever the ‘macroeconomics’ that led to this crisis only makes analytical sense if examined within the framework the political settlements and distributional outcomes in which it had operated. Taking the perspective of critical social theories the paper concludes that, ultimately, the current financial crisis is the outcome of something much more systemic, namely an attempt to use neo-liberalism (or, in US terms, neo-conservatism) as a new technology of power to help transform capitalism into a rentiers’ delight. And in particular, into system without much ‘compulsion’ on big business; i.e., one that imposes only minimal pressures on big agents to engage in competitive struggles in the real economy (while inflicting exactly the opposite fate on workers and small firms). A key component effectiveness of this new technology of power was its ability to transform the state major facilitator of the ever-increasing rent-seeking practices of oligopolistic capital. architects of this experiment include some capitalist groups (in particular rentiers from the financial sector as well as capitalists from the ‘mature’ and most polluting industries of the preceding techno-economic paradigm), some political groups, as well as intellectual networks with their allies – including most economists and the ‘new’ left. Although rentiers did succeed in their attempt to get rid of practically all fetters on greed, in the end the crisis materialised when ‘markets’ took their inevitable revenge the rentiers by calling their (blatant) bluff.

Wolpe Lecture – 10 September 2009
Global Financial Crisis – Toxic Assets, Toxic Ideology
José Gabriel Palma

Economic theory has missed the crisis and cannot explain and understand what is going on. In one of the sections of the paper that accompany this talk, it deals with this problem in economic theory, but that part need only be read by economists, since it is only they who have to be convinced that the discipline of economics is useless.
What components of economics can assist us in understanding the current crisis? The Keynesian tradition is the only one that is helpful at this moment in time. Paul Krugman had a long article in the New York Times, which is a detailed self-criticism of his own macro-economic theory and provides the economic community with an opportunity to reflect on past theoretical mistakes (New York Times on 6 September 2009)( See above, P. Krugman, "How did economists get it so wrong?". Note by  Róbinson Rojas).
To understand this crisis, we have to look at the political settlement and the distribution in which it operates – this is a crisis of the political economy not an economic crisis focusing on interest rates, the role of central banks or inflation targeting. Even further, it is a neoliberal crisis, the ideology that gained power since 1979 and which was rigorously pursued by US President Regan and UK Prime Minister Thatcher. It concerns how the global capitalist elite tried to form capitalism into a rentier’s paradise and how the capitalist elite tried to use the state to further this process. How could 1 Note – all graphs were taken from the paper which accompanied Palma’s lecture entitled ‘Revenge of the Market on the Rentiers’.

DESA Working Paper No. 35
ST/ESA/2006/DWP/35 - September 2006
Globalizing Inequality: ‘Centrifugal’ and ‘Centripetal’ Forces at Work
José Gabriel Palma

This paper reassesses national income inequalities in this era of globalization. Th e main conclusion is that two opposite forces are at work: one ‘centrifugal’ at the two extremes of the distribution—increasing the disparity of income shares appropriated by the top and by the bottom four deciles across countries; and the other ‘centripetal’ in the middle—increasing the uniformity of the share of income going to deciles 5 to 9. Th erefore, globalization is creating a situation where virtually all the intercountry diversity of income distribution is the result of diff erences in what the rich and the poor get in each country.

UNU-WIDER - Discussion Paper No. 2009/03

The Global Economic Crisis. Towards Syndrome-Free Recovery for Africa
Augustin Fosu and Wim Naudé - June 2009

This paper outlines the impact of the global economic crisis on Africa. Recovery requires coordinated and consistent efforts to assist individual countries in mitigating (reducing) the risk, coping with the impact, and reducing risk over the longer term. Care should be exercised to maintain and improve good governance, which is essential for African countries to avoid introducing various ‘anti-growth policy syndromes’ into their economies. These could arise if responses to the crisis result in (i) further boom-bust cycles and flaming the historically high volatility of African growth, including inflation, (ii) another debt crisis, (iii) household engaging in adverse coping strategies with lasting impacts; (iv) reversal of gains made in opening up African economies and re-introducing crippling state controls; and (v) entrenchment of inequities and inefficiencies in the global financial and aid architecture.

Prepared by the African Center for Gender and Social Development (ACGS) - 2009
African Perspectives of the global economic and financial crisis, including the impact on health

The global financial and economic crisis is presenting significant economic and social development challenges for African countries. The current economic global slowdown, which began with the collapse of the housing market in the United States, has deepened causing many developed countries to enter into a recession. The impacts on African economies and of the other developing world were initially expected to be less severe, but they have now been estimated to be profound. Growth rates in African countries have plummeted, as the crisis is hitting the key drivers of growth, especially trade flows, capital inflows, natural resource sectors (oil and minerals) and agricultural exports. Household incomes are falling due to job losses and decreased remittances from family members working abroad. There are concerns that budget pressures in donor countries will reduce aid flows.

A report from the Committee of African Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors established to monitor the crisis.
March 21, 2009
Impact of the crisis on African economies - sustaining growth and poverty reduction
African Perspectives and Recommendations to the G20

Executive Summary
Although most African countries are not on track to meet the Millennium Development Goals, Africa had made steady progress over the last decade, building the foundations for higher growth and poverty reduction. This more optimistic picture is now being undermined by factors outside its control. While the initial effects of the financial crisis were slow to materialize in Africa, the impact is now becoming clear. It is sweeping away firms, mines, jobs, revenues, and livelihoods; it is in short a full blown development crisis. For the first time in a decade there will be zero growth per capita. This note provides evidence of the effects, and suggests action needed. For Africa no less than elsewhere time is of essence; decisive remedial action is needed now...

Global financial and economic crisis: how vulnerable is Nigeria? -2009

The effects of global financial crisis on Nigerian economy, by Abdul Adamu2008

IOM Policy Brief - January 2009
The impact of the global financial crisis on migration

The current global financial crisis is expected to lead to a downturn in the global economy (and perhaps a deeper recession). The depth and extent of the crisis is difficult to predict and the impact of the crisis is likely to vary according to country, geographic region and employment sector. During economic downturns, however, migrant workers are often the first to lose their jobs and while some may well choose to return home, policies aimed at sending migrant workers home are not the solution and could have potentially disastrous consequences for development, given the scale of remittances – expected to reach USD 283 billion to developing countries in 2008 – and the already high levels of unemployment in developing countries.

Marx analysis of capitalism

Excerpt and condensation of Chapter 6 from The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers, by Robert L. Heilbroner, 7th ed., 1999.

A Comparison of Two Cycles in the World Economy: 1989-2007

In this paper Korkut Boratav attempts to compare and analyse some of the quantitative indicators of the world economy during the 1989-2007 years. It will, hopefully, illuminate some aspects of the paths of articulation of peripheral economies with the imperialist system during the past two decades.
The world economy is analysed on the basis of the conventional division of the imperialist system between the metropole and the periphery and their major sub-groups. The focus will be on some of the linkages, predominantly those reflecting capital and resource flows between the two poles of the system. Further in-depth analysis of national economies is not the objective. However, some emphasis (limited to aggregated economic indicators) on USA and on a group of large peripheral economies is undertaken.

Creative Destruction and Aggregate Productivity Growth

Productivity growth is the engine of economic growth and is responsible for rising standards of living. But all firms do not partake equally in the nation’s productivity growth. Rather, according to economist Joseph Schumpeter’s theory, firms undergo a process of “creative destruction”: New firms that adapt to new knowledge cause the decline and eventual demise of incumbent firms. In this article, Shigeru Fujita surveys recent studies that examine the role of creative destruction in aggregate productivity growth.

Is Schumpeterian "Creative Destruction" a Plausible Source of Endogenous Real Business Cycle Shocks?

K. L. Phillips and J. Wrase - 2003
This paper looks at the linkages between growth and business cycles by bringing together two strands of literature. We incorporate a quality ladders engine of growth into an otherwise standard real business cycle model. Our fundamental question is, can Schumpeter’s creative destruction process which leads to technological improvement over time also generate realistic business cycles? We use a standard real business cycle approach to solve for rules of motion in our state variables and proceed to generate artificial time series. We compare the statistical properties of these series with their historical counterparts to determine if the model mimics the real world closely.

Assessing the impact of the current financial and economic crisis on global FDI flows -April 2009

Poverty Impact of the Economic Slowdown in Developing Asia: Some Scenarios

FACT SHEET: Poverty Scenarios and the Crisis - IDB

Global Financial Crisis: Impact on India’s Poor Some Initial Perspectives - UNDP

A global policy package to address the global crisis -ILO - 2008

Global Employment Trends Update, May 2009- ILO

The Financial and Economic Crisis: A Decent Work Response -ILO 2009

Social and Labor Market Policies for Tumultuous Times: Confronting the Global Crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean - IDB 2009

The region of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is no stranger to aggregate economic shocks triggered by financial crises. Although the region has confronted a high frequency of economic crises, recoveries have tended to be rapid. The rebounds from the 1994 crisis, in Mexico, the 1997 Asian crisis, the 1998–99 currency crisis in Brazil, and the 2001 Argentine crisis to name a few, all occurred with a span of a year or two. Notwithstanding the region’s experience with dramatic economic downturns, the characteristics of the current global economic crisis may represent for LAC a test which is unparalleled in recent decades. According to IMF estimates the year 2009 will be the first year since the Second World War in which the world economy will contract rather than grow. In 2009 alone, the estimated number of unemployed is projected to reach 17 million, exceeding the estimate of unemployment in the US of 13.4 million.1 The crisis is already hitting LAC hard through various channels. Credit to governments, firms and households shrank rapidly in the second half of 2008. With the US at the epicenter of the crisis and the contagion spread to Europe and Japan, the collapse of aggregate demand in LAC’s major trading partners signals a grave situation. Reflecting this, prices for exports like oil, metals and basic grains have dropped. A dramatic fall in net private financial flows and direct foreign investment is foreseen for 2009 with remittances also declining.

Políticas sociales y laborales para tiempos tumultuosos: Cómo enfrentar la crisis global en América Latina y el Caribe - BID 2009

Policy Trade-offs for Unprecedented Times: Confronting the Global Crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean IDB 2009

After an Indian summer that lasted well over a year into the financial crisis that started in the United States, by mid 2008, and especially after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global crisis caught up with Latin America and the Caribbean, putting an end to one of the most buoyant periods in its recent history. Since then, currencies have depreciated sharply, stock prices have experienced severe falls, and growth forecasts have been revised dramatically downward, with the region now expected to display negative rates of growth in 2009.
However, something appears to be different this time. After all, although the region was hit hard, it has so far withstood the crisis without major financial turbulences. Generally speaking, the region has to date avoided currency and debt crises and bank runs, so typical of previous episodes of global financial turbulence (1982, 1998, and 2001). The ability of the region to resist an extremely severe external shock without major crises appears to suggest that it has now graduated from being exceptional and has earned the “privilege of normality”.

Dilemas de política económica en tiempos sin precedentes: Cómo enfrentar la crisis global en América Latina y el Caribe - BID 2009

UN:Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development

IMF: Contractionary Forces Receding But Weak Recovery Ahead

CGAP. Focus Note: The Global Financial Crisis and Its Impact on Microfinance

At inaugural public symposium. "Voiceless" have strong words for global financial crisis
Representatives of civil society, private sector tell UNCTAD and officials of other agencies that global turmoil is taking a painful toll

From United Nations Conference on Trade and Development - July 2009
The least developed countries report 2009
The state and development governance

The current economic crisis is the result of weaknesses in the neoliberal thinking that has shaped global economic policies in the last three decades; weaknesses that have been magnified by policy failures and lax regulation in the advanced countries. The cost in terms of the bailouts and recapitalization of banks has already reached unprecedented levels. However, the adverse impact on the real economy and the cost in terms of lost output and employment are now the great concerns. Most advanced economies are in recession and emerging markets have slowed. But the major victims of this contagion are likely to be the least developed countries (LDCs), many of which are still suffering the adverse impact of recent energy and food crises and have the least capacity to cope with yet another major external shock.

From UNCTAD - 19 March 2009
The Global Economic Crisis:
Systemic Failures and Multilateral Remedies

"Market fundamentalist laissez-faire of the last 20 years has dramatically failed the test. Financial deregulation created the build-up of huge risky positions whose unwinding has pushed the global economy into a debt deflation that can only be countered by government debt inflation:
– The most important task is to break the spiral of falling asset prices and falling demand and to revive the financial sector’s ability to provide credit for productive investment, to stimulate economic growth and to avoid deflation of prices. The key objective of regulatory reform has to be the systematic weeding out of financial sophistication with no social return.

China on the global financial crisis 2008
Window of China
From China Digital Times
China 2008: The Global Financial Crisis
This next article in the CDT series on important issues facing China in 2008 focuses on China’s role in the global financial crisis.
To give a deeper understanding of China’s up-and-coming role on the world stage, CDT looks at articles, issues, and policies over the last six months that contributed to the current state of the Chinese economy. While this is not a comprehensive timeline, it will give a basic analysis of China’s reaction to the financial crisis and its role within it.

CDT is run by the Berkeley China Internet Project (BCIP) out of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.

From Foreign Policy in Focus - 24 December 2008
The Coming Capitalist Consensus
By Walden Bello
Not surprisingly, the swift unraveling of the global economy combined with the ascent to the U.S. presidency of an African-American liberal has left millions anticipating that the world is on the threshold of a new era. Some of President-elect Barack Obama’s new appointees – in particular ex-Treasury Secretary Larry Summers to lead the National Economic Council, New York Federal Reserve Board chief Tim Geithner to head Treasury, and former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk to serve as trade representative – have certainly elicited some skepticism. But the sense that the old neoliberal formulas are thoroughly discredited have convinced many that the new Democratic leadership in the world’s biggest economy will break with the market fundamentalist policies that have reigned since the early 1980s.
One important question, of course, is how decisive and definitive the break with neoliberalism will be. Other questions, however, go to the heart of capitalism itself. Will government ownership, intervention, and control be exercised simply to stabilize capitalism, after which control will be given back to the corporate elites? Are we going to see a second round of Keynesian capitalism, where the state and corporate elites along with labor work out a partnership based on industrial policy, growth, and high wages – though with a green dimension this time around? Or will we witness the beginnings of fundamental shifts in the ownership and control of the economy in a more popular direction? There are limits to reform in the system of global capitalism, but at no other time in the last half century have those limits seemed more fluid.
President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has already staked out one position. Declaring that “laissez-faire capitalism is dead,” he has created a strategic investment fund of 20 billion euros to promote technological innovation, keep advanced industries in French hands, and save jobs. “The day we don’t build trains, airplanes, automobiles, and ships, what will be left of the French economy?” he recently asked rhetorically. “Memories. I will not make France a simple tourist reserve.” This kind of aggressive industrial policy aimed partly at winning over the country’s traditional white working class can go hand-in-hand with the exclusionary anti-immigrant policies with which the French president has been associated.

From The Guardian - 28 September 2008
A shattering moment in America's fall from power
The global financial crisis will see the US falter in the same way the Soviet Union did when the Berlin Wall came down. The era of American dominance is over

By John Gray
Our gaze might be on the markets melting down, but the upheaval we are experiencing is more than a financial crisis, however large. Here is a historic geopolitical shift, in which the balance of power in the world is being altered irrevocably. The era of American global leadership, reaching back to the Second World War, is over.
You can see it in the way America's dominion has slipped away in its own backyard, with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez taunting and ridiculing the superpower with impunity. Yet the setback of America's standing at the global level is even more striking. With the nationalisation of crucial parts of the financial system, the American free-market creed has self-destructed while countries that retained overall control of markets have been vindicated. In a change as far-reaching in its implications as the fall of the Soviet Union, an entire model of government and the economy has collapsed.

World Income Inequality Database (UNU)
A major update of the World Income Inequality Database is available as of May, 2008. Please consult the revision notes for details.
The UNU-WIDER World Income Inequality Database (WIID) collects and stores information on income inequality for developed, developing, and transition countries. The database and its documentation are available on this website.
WIID2 consists of a checked and corrected WIID1, a new update of the Deininger & Squire database from the World Bank, new estimates from the Luxembourg Income Study and Transmonee, and other new sources as they have became available. WIID2a contains fewer points of data than WIID1 as some overlaps between the old Deininger & Squire data and estimates included by WIDER have been eliminated along with some low quality estimates adding no information. In addition to the Gini coefficient and quintile and decile shares, survey means and medians along with the income shares of the richest 5% and the poorest 5% have been included in the update. In addition to the Gini coefficient reported by the source, a Gini coefficient calculated using a new method developed by Tony Shorrocks and Guang Hua Wan is reported. The method estimates the Gini coefficient from decile data almost as accurately as if unit record data were used.

Stand and Deliver: Private Property and the Politics of Global Dispossession
By Stefan Andreasson - 2006
Queen’s University Belfast
Property rights necessarily generate violent,and oftentimes lethal, processes of dispossession.While liberal theorists from Locke to Hayek consider property rights as an essential and emancipatory component of human freedom, they fail to consider societal power asymmetries impeding the ability of property rights to protect the interests of the weak and marginalised. If property rights produce freedom and prosperity, they do so very selectively. More obvious is the ongoing historical process of already propertied classes making ‘clever usurpation into an irrevocable right’ by extending private property regimes along two key dimensions – type and space.

From The Financial Times - London
The future of capitalism
"The credit crunch has destroyed faith in the free market ideology that has dominated Western economic thinking for a generation. But what can – and should – replace it? Over the coming weeks we will conduct a wide-ranging debate on this dominant political issue of the day. March 5 2009."
From The Third World Network
The Global Financial and Economic Crisis 1997

United Nations
World Economic Situation and Prospects, 2005 – 2009
On the Global Financial and Economic Crisis

The World Economic Situation and Prospects is the United Nations annual report (with mid-year updates) on the state of the global economy. The report has been published since 1948, originally as the World Economic Report. All reports since then are available on line here and
WESP is a joint publication of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), UNCTAD and the UN’s five regional commissions (ECLAC, ECA, ECE, ESCAP, and ESCWA).
In recent years, from 2005, but also in earlier editions, WESP has warned against the dangers of the unsustainable pattern of global growth that emerged about a decade ago and which was characterized by strong consumer demand in the United States, funded by easy credit and booming house prices. Far-reaching financial deregulation facilitated a massive and unfettered expansion of new financial instruments, such as securitized sub-prime mortgage lending, sold on financial markets worldwide. This pattern of growth enabled strong export growth and, eventually, high commodity prices benefiting many developing countries, but also led to mounting global financial imbalances and overleveraged financial institutions, businesses and households. In the context of a highly integrated global economy without adequate regulation and global governance structures, the breakdown in one part of the system thus easily leads to failure elsewhere, as we are witnessing today.

UNCTAD on the financial and economic crisis 2008-2009

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2009

The world economy is mired in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. What first appeared as a sub-prime mortgage crack in the United States housing market during the summer of 2007 began widening during 2008 into deeper fissures across the global financial landscape and ended with the collapse of major banking institutions, precipitous falls on stock markets across the world and a credit freeze. These financial shockwaves have now triggered a full-fledged economic crisis, with most advanced countries already in recession and the outlook for emerging and other developing economies deteriorating rapidly, including those with a recent history of strong economic performance.
In the baseline scenario of the United Nations forecast, world gross product is expected to slow to a meagre 1.0 per cent in 2009, a sharp deceleration from the 2.5 per cent growth estimated for 2008 and well below the more robust growth of previous years. At the projected rate of global growth, world income per capita will fall in 2009. Output in developed countries is expected to decline by 0.5 per cent in 2009. Growth in the economies in transition is expected to slow to 4.8 per cent in 2009, down 6.9 per cent in 2008, while output growth in the developing countries would slow from 5.9 per cent in 2008 to 4.6 per cent in 2009.

Given the great uncertainty prevailing today, however, a more pessimistic scenario is entirely possible. If the global credit squeeze is prolonged and confidence in the financial sector is not restored quickly, the developed countries would enter into a deep recession in 2009, with their combined gross domestic product (GDP) falling by 1.5 per cent; economic growth in developing countries would slow to 2.7 per cent, dangerously low in terms of their ability to sustain poverty reduction efforts and maintain social and political stability. In this pessimistic scenario, the size of the global economy would actually decline in 2009—an occurrence not witnessed since the 1930s.
To stave off the risk of a deep and global recession, World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2009 recommends the implementation of massive, internationally coordinated fiscal stimulus packages that are coherent and mutually reinforcing and aligned with sustainable development goals. These should be effected in addition to the liquidity and recapitalization measures already undertaken by countries in response to the economic crisis. Under a more optimistic scenario—factoring in an effective fiscal stimulus of between 1.5 and 2 per cent of GDP by the major economies, as well as further interestrate cuts—WESP forecasts that, in 2009, the developed economies could post a 0.2 per cent rate of growth, and growth in the developing world would be slightly over 5 per cent.

 From United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Crisis prevention and recovery         Capacity Development
Women's Empowerment

From The Guardian Business Series - London
Road to Ruin.
Recession Britain. The real story behind the economic slump.

"Our writers look at the real story behind the economic slump. We find out how boom turned to bust, ask who's to blame, and suggest ways out of the mess we're in"

25 people at the heart of the meltdown ...
Julia Finch picks out the individuals who have led us into the current crisis

The greed that drove the City's bonus culture
Jill Treanor investigates the relationship between bonus culture and the banking crisis

Across Britain people ask: is this country going bust?
Larry Elliott: Along the length of the M62, there is a grim determination to survive the recession that was never supposed to happen

From Financial Times - London
In Depth: Global Financial Crisis
Global Economy
World Economic Forum: Davos 2009
US & Canada  Europe UK Asia-Pacific Middle East Africa Americas
Obama's first 100 days
Madoff scandal
Credit crunch conversations
The game changer by George Soros

The Number One Issue: Who Now Runs The Economy and Finance in the U.S.

Obama’s new U.S. Treasury Secretary is
Tim Geithner, a former chief deputy of his Democrat predecessors at Treasury - Robert Rubin (who presided in the first Clinton government and later Citigroup over the “new financial instruments” that have subsequently wrecked the U.S. and world economy), and Larry Summers (who as Secretary of the Treasury in 1999 tore down barriers between commercial and investment banks in the deregulation frenzy that set up the Wall Street crash).

The Obama Crossroads: Neo-Liberal Coup or Responsible Government
by Prof. John McMurtry*
Global Research, February 1, 2009

Obama claims that he is bringing “fresh thinking” with
Larry Summers  as chief of economic policy formation. If you think he can lead a new program of productive economics, employment, non-oil energy, and environmentally friendly manufacture - what every sane person wants and what Obama hope promises - consider the track record of his economics czar. Before becoming Clinton’s second-term Secretary of the TreasuryLarry Summers had distinguished himself as an outspoken neoliberal advocating the loot-and-pollute globalization that has brought cumulative ecological as well as financial catastrophe. In a leaked Memorandum as Chief Economist of the World Bank, Summers urged “more migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs [Less Developed Countries]” for three reasons (all his words):
1) The measurements of the costs of health impairing pollution depends on the foregone earnings from increased morbidity and mortality. - - - I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.
2) I've always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted, their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City. - - [We should prefer] world welfare enhancing trade in air pollution and waste.
3) The demand for a clean environment for aesthetic and health reasons is likely to have very high income elasticity. - - - While production is mobile the consumption of pretty air is a non-tradable.
Summers then explains where he stands on “deregulation” versus “moral and social concerns” in an epitome of neoliberal life blindness: “The problem with the arguments against all of these proposals for more pollution in LDCs (intrinsic rights to certain goods, moral reasons, social concerns, lack of adequate markets, etc.) is that it could be turned around and used against every Bank proposal for liberalization.”
Summers here lets the cat out of the bag on what “liberalization” demands to be sacrificed to it - “goods”, “moral reasons” and “social concerns”, all the values Obama says he stands for.
After the memo became public, Brazil’s Secretary of the Environment Jose Lutzenburger wrote back to Summers: “Your reasoning is perfectly logical but totally insane...” Mr. Lutzenburger was fired. Summers has become President Obama’s chief economic adviser.
* John McMurtry is Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph, Canada, Author and Editor of Philosophy and World Problems, Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), UNESCO. Paris. He is the author of  Value Wars: The Global Market versus the Life Economy (London:2002), The Cancer Stage of Capitalism (London and Tokyo: 1999, 2002), Unequal Freedoms: The Global Market As An Ethical System (Toronto and Bloomfield Ct: 1998, 2000)

9 June 2005
Capitalist Economic Terrorism

Note by Róbinson Rojas: Free-market fundamentalism, which can be described as capitalist economic terrorism, is creating a world with a small bunch of super rich and a big majority just surviving on their income. United States is a telling case study of this. What began with  the Reagan Administration is reaching obscene features with the Bush Administration. Statistics show that "for every additional dollar earned by the bottom 90 percent of the population between 1950 and 1970, those in the top 0.01 percent earned an additional $162. That gap has since skyrocketed. For every additional dollar earned by the bottom 90 percent between 1990 and 2002, each taxpayer in that top bracket brought in an extra $18,000." The New York Times is publishing a special section ("Class Matters"), from which I select here some important texts. They show how capitalist economic terrorism (free-market fundamentalism) can disjoint a society. The winners are the ones who have at their service a political class serving their interests by unleashing political and economic terrorism (otherwise known as globalization) all over planet Earth. They are building a larger U.S. empire. Modern Caligulas like Bush et al are the top layer of that political class.

The Bush Economy (7 June 2005)
Richest Are Leaving Even the Rich Far Behind (5 June 2005)
Crushing Upward Mobility (7 June 2005)
Class Matters. A special section
The Mobility Myth (6 June 2005)


The New York Times - 10 June 2005
Losing Our Country
By Paul Krugman
"The middle-class society I grew up in no longer exists. Working families have seen little if any progress over the past 30 years. Adjusted for inflation, the income of the median family doubled between 1947 and 1973. But it rose only 22 percent from 1973 to 2003, and much of that gain was the result of wives' entering the paid labor force or working longer hours, not rising wages.
But the wealthy have done very well indeed. Since 1973 the average income of the top 1 percent of Americans has doubled, and the income of the top 0.1 percent has tripled."

Center for Economic and Policy Research
The recent announcement that the U.S. has officially been in a recession since December 2007 and the latest employment data showing record job losses in November are but two indicators of the weakness in the economy. As a resource for a deeper understanding of the health of the economy, CEPR has created an Economic Crisis section featuring analysis of the root causes of the economic down-turn as well as policy suggestions, including a letter from over 375 economists and three nobel laureates pushing for a second stimulus package, to help get the economy back on track.

Project Syndicate
Project Syndicate is an international association of quality newspapers devoted to:
bringing distinguished voices from across the world to local audiences everywhere;
strengthening the independence of printed media in transition and developing countries;
upgrading their journalistic, editorial, and business capacities.

Project Syndicate currently consists of 406 newspapers in 150 countries, with a total circulation of 47,258,115 copies. Its activities fall into two broad categories:
disseminating the highest quality commentaries and analysis to its member papers;
fostering institutional links among member papers;

Project Syndicate is a not-for-profit institution. Financial contributions from member papers in developed countries support the services provided free by Project Syndicate to members in less advanced economies. Additional support comes from the Open Society Institute, Politiken Foundation and Die Zeit Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius Foundation.

The Guardian:

Global Recession   Economics The Nuclear Industry  Globalization  Debt relief  Famine  Global population
What's wrong with our food?  Medicine and Health
The GM Food Debate  Renewable Energy
Airline industry  Enron  Oil and petrol  The euro
Global fishing  Global warming  Renewable energy
Waste and pollution  Attack on America
Argentina  Colombia  Cuba
Net news  The future of Microsoft
UN conference against racism

From The Observer:
Special on the Global Economy
This special report contains a selection of the best of The Observer's news and business commentary and analysis.

From the Real-World Economics Review Blog:
Voting is now open for the Ignoble Prize for Economics - (more information and voting here)
The Ignoble Prize for Economics is to be awarded to the three economists who contributed most to enabling the Global Financial Collapse (GFC)

Róbinson Rojas (1997) on
Basic knowledge on economics
Notes designed for students wanting to understand the basic tenets of textbook economics ( capitalist economics, that is), without calculus, which is utilised as a disguise to justify a barbaric economic system leading to social exclusion and waste of human and material resources. The capitalist economic problem: what to produce, how to produce, for whom to produce. Resource allocation: alternative approaches, the free market versus central planning. The meaning of "resource allocation" and the main alternative methods of allocating resources.
Concepts for Review: Economic resources, resource allocation, production possibility curves, supply, demand, competition, profitability and the free market, central planning and bureaucracy, factors of production,  distribution of income, factor mobility

- Sustainable development in a globalized economy? The odds. 1999
- Sustainable development in a globalized economy. 1997
- Making sense of development studies
- Notes on the philosophy of the capitalist system
- Notes on economics: assuming scarcity
- Notes on economics: about obscenities, poverty and inequality
- Notes on structural adjustment programmes
- Agenda 21 revisited (notes)
- 15 years of monetarism in Latin America: time to scream
- Latin America: a failed industrial revolution
- Latin America: the making of a fractured society
- Latin America: a dependent mode of production
- The 'adjustment' of the world economy
- The transnational corporate system in the late 1990s
- A market-friendly strategy for development
- Notes on agribusiness in the 1990s
- Transnational corporations in developing countries
- Latin America: blockages to development
- Development Studies: Researching for the big bosses?
- International capital and intellectual dishonesty
Original in French - Translation by John Fletcher - First published in Esprit 12/2006
Contributed by Esprit
© Achille Mbembe/Esprit - © Eurozine
What is post-colonial thinking?
The faults in Europe's universalism, especially when confronting its colonial history, have nurtured a variety of critical perspectives in the West. Talking to French magazine Esprit, theorist Achille Mbembe says that postcolonial thinking looks so original because it developed in a transnational, eclectic vein from the very start. This enabled it to combine the anti-imperialist tradition with the fledgling subaltern studies and a specific take on globalization, he says.

From the World Health Organization (WHO)
Financial Crisis and Global Health

The global economic downturn is likely to have ripple effects on health and social spending, especially in developing countries. Protecting investments in health and social structures is essential to maintain stability and security, and accelerate economic recovery. The challenge facing the world now is to prevent an economic crisis becoming a social and health crisis.

The International Labour Organization and the Global Job Crisis

What began as a crisis in finance markets has rapidly become a global jobs crisis. Unemployment is rising. The number of working poor is increasing. Businesses are going under. The ILOs' Decent Work Agenda provides the policy framework to confront the crisis. ILO's  website provides information on the employment and social impact of the crisis and policy responses.

Choike - Real-World Economic Review - International Development Economics Associates - Countercurrents.Org

The Economist - African Development Bank Asian Development Bank - Interamerican Development Bank

The International Monetary Fund - World Bank Group The OECD - Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

ELDIS, from the Institute for Development Studies - The Institute of Development Studies - British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

On Development Economics
The Future of Development Economics
The New Economy in Development
The Need to Rethink Development Economics
Development Economics
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Puro Chile la memoria del pueblo
Proyecto para el Primer Siglo Popular

Director: Róbinson Rojas Sandford


Puro Chile la mémoire du peuple
Projet pour le Premier Siècle Populaire

Editeur: Róbinson Rojas Sandford