George Soros on the Current Conjuncture Prabhat Patnaik

Billionaire financier George Soros has set financial markets aflutter by suggesting that a new world financial crisis is in the offing. In a speech he gave recently to a think-tank, he underscored the outflow of finance capital from the third world which is likely to catch these economies in a cycle of exchange rate depreciations and austerity. And he talked specifically of the European Union facing an “existential crisis” on account of three factors: its territorial disintegration as exemplified by Brexit, austerity, and the refugee crisis. The solution he offered for Europe was a typically Keynesian one which included a…

Ensuring Shared Progress for Sustainable Development and Peace Jomo Kwame Sundaram

International inequality has grown over recent centuries, especially the last two. Before the Industrial Revolution, between-country inequalities were small, while within-country inequalities accounted for most of overall global income inequality. Now, inter-country income inequalities account for about two-thirds of world inequality with intra-country inequality accounting for a third. Concern about inequality has grown as every major economic, social and political crisis has been preceded by rising inequality. World War II was no exception. Thus, on 10th May 1944, the International Labour Congress adopted the historic Philadelphia Declaration which asserted that "lasting peace can be established only if it is based…

The Wolfowitz at the World Bank’s Door Jayati Ghosh

The second innings of George Bush Jr. at the White House promises to be more than just a replay of the first term, although that prospect alone would have been horrifying enough. Re-election has legitimised for the incumbent US President his most blatant and aggressive past actions. But it has done even more, in terms of imbuing new energy and confidence into the unilateralist and bullying agenda with which the Bush administration tends to take on all comers, both domestic and international. Certainly, the recent flexing of US muscles in international arenas provides adequate intimation of the more overtly interventionist…

Development and Social Goals: Balancing aid and development to prevent ‘welfare colonialism’ Erik S. Reinert

The Millennium Goals are far too much biased towards palliative economics rather than structural change, towards treating the symptoms of poverty rather than its causes.  An alternative perspective for cohesive development emerging from the historical and evolutionary approach recommends increasing diversification away from the diminishing returns sectors (traditional raw materials and agriculture) into an increasing returns sector (technology intensive manufacturing) and a  creating a large division of labour and the synergies and social structures which emerge from this structure. welfare_colonialism (Download the full text in PDF format)

Increasing Poverty in a Globalised World: Marshall plans and morgenthau plans as mechanisms of polarisation of world incomes Erik S. Reinert

The increasingly globalised economy seems to produce opposite effects of what standard economic theory predicts. Instead of a convergence of world income (towards factor-price equalisation), a group of rich nations show a tendency to converge, another convergence group of poor countries gathers at the bottom of the scale. This paper explains the mechanisms and the economic policies that create this type of gap in the living standard of workers in the non-tradable service sector. globalised_world (Download the full text in PDF format)