Trade, Money, and Finances
Political Oversight of the ICANN: A Briefing for the WSIS Summit
A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility
Raising International Climate Finance
The Global Marshall Plan
Civil Society Politics Manifesto
Proposal Papers for the Rio+20 Peoples Summit
Regulating Transnational Companies: 46 Proposals
Thirty years of Habitat I: no more neoliberal model of cities!
The IMF, the World Bank, and Respect of Human Rights
Campaign for People’s Goals for Sustainable Development
Nairobi World Parliamentary Forum Resolution
Setting up an Arbitration Tribunal on Debt: An Alternative Solution?
"Negative Growth": Rebirth of a Revolutionary Concept
How to break out the system trap. A model to support conversations for a more strategic activism.
Oil slicks: An Ocean of Profits
Alternative World Water Forum
The Commons, the State and Transformative Politics
The Cosmopolitan State
Contesting Global Governance. Multilateral Economic Institutions and Global Social Movements
Seven Leverage Points for the Passage from Economy to Œconomy
Proposals for a New World Governance
Building Consensus on Food Safety Programs among Consumer and Public Health Organizations
Could the COP 21 be our next Westphalian Moment?
Proposal for a Charter of Universal Responsibilities
The Right to Water as a Human Right
The New Republic Will be Democratic and Socially Oriented
Basic Food Income: Option or Obligation?
Now is the time to rediscover John Maynard Keynes’s revolutionary ideas for the organization of international trade and adapt them to re-balance finances in the world’s economies of the twenty-first century.
The economist John Maynard Keynes came to the postwar table with an innovative project for the future of world trade, which he called the International Trade Organization (ITO), supported by an international central bank, the International Clearing Union (ICU). The ICU was meant to issue a world currency for trade, the "bancor." Why the ITO and the ICU never materialized, and what would have changed if they had, is a sobering story from which we have a lot to learn.
It tells us that, in a rational world, it would be possible to build a trading system serving the needs of people in both the North and the South. With an ITO and an ICU, we could have had a world order in which no country could run a huge trade deficit (the US deficit stood at $716 billion in 2005) or the huge trade surplus of contemporary China.
Under such a system, crushing the third-world debt and the devastating structural-adjustment policies applied by the World Bank and the IMF would have been unthinkable, although the system would not have abolished capitalism. If we could resurrect Keynes’s concept, another world really might be possible: he figured out how to make it work more than 60 years ago. His plan would have to be dusted off and fine tuned, but its core remains relevant.