Trade, Money, and Finances
A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility
For a World Citizen Movement
Rio+20 and Beyond. No Future without Justice
Thirty years of Habitat I: no more neoliberal model of cities!
What Europe does the world need?
The IMF, the World Bank, and Respect of Human Rights
Campaign for People’s Goals for Sustainable Development
Setting up an Arbitration Tribunal on Debt: An Alternative Solution?
Nairobi World Parliamentary Forum Resolution
"Negative Growth": Rebirth of a Revolutionary Concept
A Global Pension Plan
A Bit Rich: Calculating the Real Value to Society of Different Professions
Winnowing Wheat from Chaff
Oil slicks: An Ocean of Profits
The Commons, the State and Transformative Politics
Post-2015: Global Action for an Inclusive and Sustainable Future
Proposals for a New World Governance
The Challenge of Environmental Governance
Moving Closer toward an International Standard on Corporate Social Responsibility
After Copenhagen, Some Light on the Horizon
Henceforth, the Keys to the Future are Responsibility, Solidarity, and Courage
Do Space and Action Have to Be Contradictory? Toward an Inclusive WSF Strategy
From Westernization to Globalization. A Brief History of Chinese Modernity
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.