Financial Crisis

‘The World Is Bigger than 5’

The title of this piece is not mine. It’s from the President of Turkiye calling for a reform of the United Nations Security Council. It has since become a motto in the UN reform campaign encapsulating the shared resentment at a global system that gives the five Permanent members – The P5 of the UN Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia – unfair and often destructive veto powers that undermines the very ideals for which the UN was established.

Developing Countries’ Government Debt Crises Loom Larger

Developing countries are being blamed for having borrowed and spent irresponsibly. But they have only been doing what foreign powers and financial interests have urged them to do.

Global Governance: Time for Reform

At last the UN Security Council has passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. While stopping short of demanding a permanent end to the violence, it goes further than the world’s peak peace and security body had so far managed since the start of the current brutal phase of conflict in October. But the time it’s taken to get to this point signals an ongoing failure of global institutions to uphold human rights.

Child Malnutrition in Peru Driven Up by Poverty and Food Insecurity

Quechua farmer Felipa Noamesa, who lives in the southern Peruvian department of Cuzco, prepares a cream of fava bean soup for breakfast every morning with bread and vegetable soup with noodles. Her children are grown up, so her priority is that her five-year-old granddaughter does not suffer from anemia or malnutrition, two problems she frequently sees in her community.

Grassroots Venezuelan Initiative Aims to Combat Electricity Crisis with Solar Energy

Sweating profusely, unable to sleep because of the heat, fed up with years of blackouts several times a day, many residents of Venezuela's torrid northwest want to cover the roofs and balconies of their homes with solar panels, and are asking the government to import them massively and cheaply from China.

Industrial Policy, East or West, for Development or War?

Developing countries wanting to pursue industrial policy were severely reprimanded by advocates of the ‘neoliberal’ Washington Consensus. Now, it is being deployed as a weapon in the new Cold War.

Global South Stagnating under Heavier Debt Burden

Much higher interest rates – due to Western central banks – are suffocating developing nations, especially the poorest, causing prolonged debt distress and economic stagnation.

It’s Africa’s Time To Shine, says UN Under Secretary Claver Gatete

With 20 percent of the global population and vast untapped natural resources, not forgetting its human capital, it is time Africa had its rightful seat at the global table, the United Nations Under Secretary and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Claver Gatete, has called.

Hapless New Year for Global South

As dire economic predictions for 2023 did not materialise, pundits began 2024 far more optimistically. But policy ghosts from the last half-century will likely undermine such wishful thinking.

North Ignores ‘Perfect Storm’ in Global South

A gathering ‘perfect storm’ – due to various developments, several quite deliberate – now threatens much devastation in the global South, likely to most hurt the poorest and most vulnerable.

Embodying the Spirit of the Dragon

The Year of the Dragon is upon us. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message for this Lunar New Year, “The dragon symbolizes energy, wisdom, protection and good luck. We need these qualities to rise to today’s global challenges.”

Onerous Debt Making Poorest Poorer

Contractionary economic trends since 2008 and ‘geopolitical’ conflicts subverting international cooperation have worsened world conditions, especially in the poorest countries, mainly in Africa, leaving their poor worse off.

PPPs’ Private Gain at Public Expense

At high cost and with dubious efficiency, public-private partnerships (PPPs) have increased private profits at the public expense. PPPs have proved costly in financing public projects.

World Bank Enables Private Capture of Profits, Public Resources

The World Bank insists commercial finance is necessary for achieving economic recovery and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but does little to ensure profit-hungry commercial finance serves the public interest. By failing to address pressing challenges within their purview, the second-ever Bretton Woods institutions’ (BWIs) annual meetings on the African continent, in Marrakech in October 2023, set the developing world even further back.

Rich Nations, IMF Deepen World Stagnation

With the US Fed raising interest rates, the world economy is slowing as debt distress spreads across the global South, increasing poverty worldwide to pre-pandemic levels, with the poorest countries faring worst.

Big Cons: How Consultancy Firms Undermine Governments

Greater government reliance on consulting companies has greatly enriched them while also undermining state capacities, capabilities, national economies, progress, governance and legitimacy.

Netherlands Latest Country to Tilt to the Right

The Netherlands is the latest country to lurch to the right amid the global cost of living crisis. Its November election saw maverick far-right populist Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom (PVV) come first. A hardline Islamophobe who’s called for the Quran to be banned could be the next prime minister.

Suicide, Another Face of the Crisis in Venezuela

In the wee hours of one morning in early November, Ernesto, 50, swallowed several glasses of a cocktail of drugs and alcohol in the apartment where he lived alone in the Venezuelan capital, ending a life tormented by declining health and lack of resources to cope as he would have liked.

Argentina Plunges into the Unknown

For many of Argentina’s voters the choice on 19 November was between the lesser of two evils: Sergio Massa, the minister overseeing an economy with the world’s third-highest inflation rate, or Javier Milei, an erratic far-right libertarian outsider promising to shut down the Central Bank, adopt the US dollar as the currency, cut taxes and privatise public services.

Middle-Income Country Trap?

In recent decades, failure to sustain economic progress has been blamed on a supposed middle-income country (MIC) trap. Such blaming obscures as much as it supposedly explains.

Argentines Get Used to the Fact that Inflation Can Always Get Worse

People in Argentina have become accustomed to the fact that nothing costs the same today as it did the week before and they take price hikes in stride with resignation, says Mariano Cohen. "Almost nobody gets angry or complains anymore. They just don't buy something if they can't afford it," he explains in his disposable goods store in Villa Crespo, one of Buenos Aires' most commercial neighborhoods.

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