‘The New Rulers Of The World (2001) analyses the new global economy and reveals that the divisions between the rich and poor have never been greater – two thirds of the world’s children live in poverty – and the gulf is widening like never before.
Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is moving quickly to open up the strategic Horn of Africa country to Western capital. But far from the move being seen as a progressive reform, many Ethiopians and observers are concerned that the new direction is leading the nation into “debt slavery”.
There is a “mystery” we must explain: How is it that as corporate investments and foreign aid and international loans to poor countries have increased dramatically throughout the world over the last half century, so has poverty? The number of people living in poverty is growing at a faster rate than the world’s population. What do we make of this?
President of the Republic of Namibia, Dr. Hage Geingob, discusses how his country, which achieved independence from neighboring apartheid South Africa in 1990, is now fighting for justice and economic emancipation from global banks, corporations and foreign governments seeking to extract the developing country’s natural resources.
The financial inequality across the globe has reached new extremes. The international charity -Oxfam- in its latest report “An Economy for the 1%” has a shocking revelation: “Runaway inequality has created a world where 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population.” Imagine that. Only five years earlier it took 388 of the world’s richest to reach that mark. Extreme inequality: that is the topic for this edition of the debate.
A nightmare scenario of U.S. geopolitical strategists is coming true: foreign independence from U.S.-centered financial and diplomatic control. China and Russia are investing in neighboring economies on terms that cement Eurasian integration on the basis of financing in their own currencies and favoring their own exports. They also have created the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an alternative military alliance to NATO. And the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) threatens to replace the IMF and World Bank tandem in which the United States holds unique veto power.
Economist Michael Hudson says China’s new international bank will be exempt from a US-veto, empowering other countries to lead development and perhaps challenge the use of the dollar as the currency of global capital.
Where and to whom one is born is, it seems, arbitrary, chance, fate or karma being the divine decision maker. Wake from innocence to middle class parents in one of the developed wealthy nations of the world, and be blessed with comfort, opportunity, good health care and education and a life of profitable possibilities. Find yourself in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya or the daughter of tea pickers in Assam, India, and see before you: poverty, uncertainty, suffering and the threat of extreme exploitation.
In Costa Rica, publicly-owned banks have been available for so long and work so well that people take for granted that any country that knows how to run an economy has a public banking option. Costa Ricans are amazed to hear there is only one public depository bank in the United States (the Bank of North Dakota), and few people have private access to it.
This is the first of a series of exposés focusing on the Institute of International Finance (IIF), the very “visible hand” of financial markets. It is a continuation of the Global Power Project produced by Occupy.com. Part 1 examines the origins of the IIF.
Founded in 1983, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) describes itself as “the world’s only global association of financial institutions” with a membership that includes “most of the world’s largest commercial banks and investment banks,” along with sovereign wealth funds, asset managers, hedge funds, insurance companies, law firms, multinational corporations, development banks, multilateral agencies, credit ratings agencies and an assortment of other global financial and economic organizations. Continue reading →
In many parts of the world development has become an invisible cloak under which all manner of “state sponsored” atrocities and human rights violations are being committed. Married to growth, development has been (largely) reduced to economic advancement – meaning maximizing Gross National Product (GNP) figures month on month, year on year, and turning over glowing returns to the insatiable global monetary bodies – The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and – profit to private investors. No matter the human impact and environmental consequences.
To many people land is much more than a resource or corporate commodity to be bought developed and sold for a profit. Identity, cultural history and livelihood are all connected to ‘place’. The erosion of traditional values and morality (which include the observation of human rights and environmental responsibility) are some of the many negative effects of the global neo-liberal economic model, with its focus on short-term gain and material benefit. The commercialization of everything and everybody has become the destructive goal of multi-nationals, and their corporate governments manically driven by the desire for perpetual growth as the elixir to life’s problems.