Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Global Perspectives on the financial crisis

The November 2008 issue of the magazine 'Global Perspectives' focuses on the global financial crisis.

Robert Zoellick (World Bank) warns that we need to pay close attention to emerging economic powers. These new actors in the global economy have shown their economic success but are suspicious regarding the world finance and governance institutions. They want to have a say in any upcoming global finance structure reforms. 

He calls for a new Multilateral System that "will need to be a flexible network, not a fixed nor unitary system. It needs to maximize the strengths of interconnecting and overlapping actors and institutions, public and private."

The German Minister responsible for Development Cooperation, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul argues that market-radical ideologies have failed. Developing countries do not need deregulation of their financial markets, since their governance structures are too weak and financial resources are too marginal. However the financial crisis will not stop at national borders;  thus Wieczorek-Zeul calls for international regulations which could be installed at the upcoming Doha Round in December.

The South Centre calls for a revision of the 'Finance for Development' concept proposed by the World Bank and IMF. An article by Ramesh Jaura (IPS) describes the lines of action proposed by the South Centre to revamp the global financial architecture:
  1. Inclusive process to develop new representative architecture
  2. Correct regulatory deficit of global finance
  3. Reforms should be part of IMF reform agenda
  4. Adopt a coordinated global macroeconomic policy
  5. Create an international debt court
  6. Stronger reliance on regional institutions and active cooperation with developing countries
David Cronin (IPS) criticizes the recent EC proposal against illegal timber as toothless. The proposal suggests that companies demand guarantees that their timber is from legal resources,  but environmental organizations claim concrete steps are needed to criminalize illegal timber and severely control voluntary certifications. The EU Commissioner Dimas replies that the EU relies on its member states to impose harsh penalties against trade in illegal timber.

Also in this issue an interview on the current state of South America, with former Portuguese President Mario Soares and a report from the IUCNs' world conservation congress which took place in Barcelona.

Global Perspectives is a bi-lingual (English/German) publication by IPS Europe. It releases monthly editions on various themes of international cooperation and development and is available for free download.

See also Euforic newsfeed on IPS Europe.

by Martin Behrens