The paper compares and analyses some quantitative indicators of the world economy during the period 1989-2007 to understand the phenomenon of “growing imbalances” in the world economy. The primary focus is on the capital and resource flows between the metropole and the periphery. It is established that uni-directional net resource transfers out of the periphery in favour of the American economy dominated the two cycles of the post-1988 world economy, when the expansion of financial capital knew no bounds. This was how the apparently unlimited appetite of US consumers and imperialist aggression of the US state that led up to the global crisis were sustained. Further, a comparison of growth performances with changes in the current accounts of the major actors during the two cycles show the differential trajectories followed by different groups of peripheral economies. The paper concludes that the economic trajectories pursued by the peripheral economies during the 1998-2007 cycle determine their degree of vulnerability to the ongoing crisis.
07_2009 (Download the full text in PDF format)