Multilateral Agreement on Investment: A Briefing on the Investment-Related Disciplines and the WTO Ajit Singh

Three years after the OECD abandoned its controversial Multilateral Agreement on investment (MAI), a group of advanced countries, including the EU and Japan are again attempting to establish a similar agreement, this time at the WTO. From the submissions made by these countries at the WTO's Investment and Trade Working Group, it would seem that they would like an agreement which would provide investors with high standards of protection as well as free dom to invest anywhere and in any activity (subject to the usual exceptions for defence, culture etc.). One important difference between the OECD's MAI and the advanced…

An Alternative Policy Framework for India Jayati Ghosh & C.P. Chandrasekhar

The overarching implication of the spate of financial crises that have ravaged Asia, Russia and Latin America is of course that the threat of deflation, driven by a financial crisis is real. In fact, once integration with globalised finance proceeds beyond a point, the state of a country, as reflected by its GDP growth or inflation rate, or even the size of its foreign exchange reserves, need not be adequate to predict an imminent crisis. East Asian economies had performed very differently in the period immediately preceding the crisis, and Brazil despite "qualifying" for a $42 billion IMF package, could…

How the IMF Messed Up Argentina Mark Weisbrot

Argentina's implosion has the fingerprints of the International Monetary Fund all over it. The first and overwhelmingly most important cause of the country's economic troubles was the government's decision to maintain its fixed rate of exchange: one peso for one U.S. dollar. Adopted in 1991, this policy worked for a while. But during the past few years the dollar has been overvalued, which made the peso overvalued as well. Contrary to popular belief, a "strong" currency is not like a strong body. It is very easy to have too much of a good thing. An overvalued currency makes exports too…

The Riddle of Putin Boris Kagarlitsky

There is evidently some kind of natural law at work: if the business press and the leaders of the financial world name some country or other as a success story, then this is precisely the country where you can expect things to go badly wrong. Not long ago the newspapers were full of rapturous accounts of the Argentinian economic miracle. We were urged to study and reproduce the "Argentinian model". Now Argentina is on the verge of bankruptcy, unemployment has become a national catastrophe, and the population no longer believes anyone. In the recent parliamentary elections, voters crossed out all…