Debts that cannot be paid will not be Sabri Oncu

Total global debt has increased, growth has been slowing down since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2007 and has been rapidly decelerating after 2012. This may be a sign that the world has arrived at its debt carrying capacity or has even crossed it, meaning that capitalism is probably already insolvent. Debts_that_cannot_be_paid (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally posted in the Economic & Political Weekly on July 15, 2017.)

Reforming the International Financial System Jomo Kwame Sundaram

When we fail to act on lessons from a crisis, we risk exposing ourselves to another one. The 1997-¬1998 East Asian crises provided major lessons for international financial reform. Two decades later, we appear not to have done much about them. The way the West first responded to the 2008 global financial crisis should have reminded us to do more. But besides accumulating more reserves, Southeast Asia has not done much else. Crisis prevention and management First, existing mechanisms and institutions for preventing financial crises remain grossly inadequate. Financial liberalization continues despite the crises engendered. Too little has been done…

G20’s Record Does Not Inspire Hope Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Anis Chowdhury

The G20 leaders meeting in Hamburg, Germany, on 7-8 July comes almost a decade after the grouping's elevation to meeting at the heads of state/government level. Previously, the G20 had been an informal forum of finance ministers and central bank governors from advanced and emerging economies created in 1999 following the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis. The new grouping's record in steering the global economy since the first summit in Washington, DC in November 2008 after the global financial crisis (GFC) was acknowledged by financial markets to have begun a couple of months before. London Summit's high point At the following…

The Macroeconomics of Basic Income Grants Jayati Ghosh

In a time of short or no historical memory, it is easy to believe that some ideas are completely novel and innovative. So it is with the idea of the “Universal Basic Income”, which is getting much exposure in both developed and developing countries as a fundamentally new policy to deal with contemporary inequalities and the increasing uncertainty around employment generation. I have already considered some of the advantages and concerns with this idea, specifically in the Indian context, in a previous column (http://www.frontline.in/columns/Jayati_Ghosh/a-universal-basic-income-in-india/article9511636.ece). But it is worth looking in more detail at the history of this idea, and some…

Justice in the Age of Finance C. P. Chandrasekhar

The big news late in June 2017 was that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the UK had charged four former senior executives of Barclays bank, including its former chief executive, John Varley, with fraud committed almost a decade earlier, during the global financial crisis of 2008. This is the first chief of an institution embroiled in the 2008 financial crisis who faces criminal (as opposed to civil) proceedings. How long the investigation will take and what the punishment will be is yet to be seen. But being the first criminal prosecution of a small number of the large group…

1997 Asian Crisis Lessons Lost Jomo Kwame Sundaram

After months of withstanding speculative attacks on its national currency, the Thai central bank let it ‘float' on 2 July 1997, allowing its exchange rate to drop suddenly. Soon, currencies and stock markets throughout the region came under pressure as easily reversible short-term capital inflows took flight in herd-like fashion. By mid-July 1997, the currencies of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines had also fallen precipitously after being floated, with stock market price indices following suit. Most other economies in East Asia were also under considerable pressure. In November 1997, despite South Korea's more industrialized economy, its currency also collapsed following…

Jayati Ghosh speaks on ‘The complexities of success: Globalisation, inequality and economic insecurity in China and India’

Despite being the biggest beneficiaries of the recent phase of globalisation, India and China show rising inequalities, greater fragility and insecurity of material life for a significant section of the population. As well as environmental crises, insufficient employment generation and looming demographic challenges. Growth trajectories that have increased and relied upon inequalities of different kinds breed the invisible discontents of globalization.

China’s Labour Market Conundrum C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

Has China's labour market reached a point where long years of high growth have led to demand outstripping supply, resulting in a sharp rise in wages? China_Labour (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the Business Line on July 4, 2017.)

The Rights of the Child and the G20 Summit Sir Richard Jolly & Gabriele Köhler

Nineteen rich counties and the EU are preparing for the G20 Summit. What brought this group together initially was their GDP size and their concern with the 2007/2008 massive financial crisis. After a brief flirtation with Keynesian ideas about governments’ responsibility in economic crises, they now cohere in their (misguided) belief in neoliberal policy making. As we know, the austerity and deregulation policies adopted by the majority of the G20 governments are extremely harmful. Decent jobs that are paid properly and come with social security guarantees for incidents of illness or accident, and for old age, have been replaced by…

Southeast Asia: From Miracle To Debacle Jomo Kwame Sundaram

The World Bank and other influential international financial institutions and development agencies have been touting Southeast Asian (SEA) newly industrializing countries as models for emulation, especially by African developing countries seeking to accelerate their development transformations. But these recommendations are usually based on misleading analysis of their rapid growth and structural transformation. Sub-regional differences Typically, various cultural and other justifications are offered to justify recommending SEA, rather than Northeast Asia (NEA), as the better sub-region for emulation. Consequently, important lessons from East Asian experiences have been misrepresented, drawing erroneous lessons from the region's undoubtedly impressive economic performance during its high…