Coping with Financial Market Crisis UNCTAD Policy Briefs

Recent UNCTAD policy briefs discuss the reasons behind the crisis and options before policymakers. They make a case for stronger regulation of the financial system and the need to avert deflation through government intervention. The need for global co-operation and regulation of trade and finance are also highlighted. UNCTAD_PB_1 (Download the full text in PDF format)

Will We never Learn? UNCTAD Policy Briefs

As financial crisis becomes increasingly global, world economy seems headed for a deep and synchronised downturn. Latest UNCTAD policy brief argues that in such circumstances, traditional adjustment packages are counterproductive and countercyclical policies are needed to stimulate domestic demand in all countries. UNCTAD_PB (Download the full text in PDF format)

Redistribution and Stability: Beyond the Keynesian / neo-liberal impasse Harry Shutt

As the financial crisis that erupted in 2007 unfolds in an economic cataclysm which, it is now clear, is unprecedented in the history of capitalism, world leaders without exception reveal themselves as politically and ideologically bankrupt in their efforts to bring it under control. This is most obviously demonstrated by their insistence on the need for individuals and enterprises to boost their levels of consumption and fixed investment - with the aid of new loans from the financial sector - even though it is obvious that the immediate cause of the crisis has been the creation of excessive credit leading…

Food Sovereignty and the Contemporary Food Crisis Peter Rosset

This article examines the current global food price crisis, identifying both long- and short-term causes. It argues that to escape the crisis, countries must rebuild and protect domestic peasant and family farmer food production and public inventories. The 'food sovereignty' paradigm put forth by the global peasant and farmer alliance, La Via Campesina, may well offer our only way out of the current conundrum. Food_Sovereignty (Download the full text in PDF format)

The Outcry is muted, but the Food Crisis is getting worse Jayati Ghosh

Just a few months ago, we were being told that this is a period of stark, unprecedented and unfolding food crisis, with looming shortages and huge global imbalances between demand and supply. Everyone who matters - from officials in international organisations to leaders of rich and poor countries - warned us of the terrible social, political and nutritional consequences of doing nothing, of the millions who would go hungry and the riots that would occur if the imbalances persisted or increased. But now the whole problem has disappeared from the international radar, relegated to the inside pages of newspapers and…

A Progressive Program For Economic Recovery & Financial Reconstruction

The global economic crisis is rapidly worsening. Meanwhile the incoming Obama administration is intensively developing plans to ward off economic catastrophe. In this atmosphere of hope laced with tremendous uncertainty, a group of progressive economists met on November 21, 2008 at the New School for Social Research in New York for a discussion, sponsored by the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), with financial support from the Ford Foundation. The goal of the meeting was to discuss macroeconomic and financial policies for economic revival…

The Madoff Mystery C. P. Chandrasekhar

The full details of the financial crisis triggered by subprime lending had just about been absorbed, when the much-discredited financial system in the developed countries, especially the US, was hit by another quake. This was the mid-December revelation that one more of the venerated Wall Street figures, Bernard Madoff, and his investment firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, had indulged in fraud on a massive scale, leading to losses estimated by Madoff himself at $50 billion. While the details are still being investigated, reports suggest that the fraud amounted to a straight-forward Ponzi scheme in which new capital raised…

Rejection of EPAs by Africa: Implications for the Developing World Arindam Banerjee

The deadlock between the African countries and the European Union (EU) in the recent Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations has much wider implications than just being a failure of the two continents to forge a partnership on economic issues. In the rejection of the EPAs, the African economies have conveyed a clear message that they will increasingly strive for greater South-South cooperation than sign trade agreements with the North at the cost of endangering the livelihoods of their people. Africa_EU_EPA (Download the full text in PDF format)

From Famines to Food Surplus: The Malawi Experience Arindam Banerjee

The recent turnaround in Malawi, a small nation in Southern Africa, from being a food deficit country to one producing surplus food grains is one of the most dramatic incidents in the history of the battle against hunger by the African nations. A well-contemplated fertilizer subsidy policy has ensured that the country, till recently heavily dependent on the United Nations World Food Programme for feeding its population, has supplied as much as 400,000 tons of maize to the World Food Programme in 2007 for fighting an emergency food scenario in neighbouring Zimbabwe. Famines_Food_Surplus (Download the full text in PDF format)

The Media and the Left in India Jayati Ghosh

The past few weeks have witnessed an extraordinary frenzy of media attacks on the Left – and in particular, on the Left Front government in the state of West Bengal. These attacks have been so sharp, so abusive and so based on partial or total distortion of facts, that they may even be unprecedented in the history of independent India. And the attacks are coming not only from the mainstream media which is now well-known for its anti-Left propensities, but from non-mainstream and relatively new sources such as internet blogs. So what exactly is going on? The focus of all…