Trade, Money, and Finances
Dialog of Chinese, European, and South American Civil Societies at Rio+20
Political Oversight of the ICANN: A Briefing for the WSIS Summit
On the Road to a Citizens Assembly
Global Civil Society: Shifting Powers in a Shifting World
Beyond the Growth Paradigm: Creating a Unified Progressive Politics
Alterglobalization, a Long-term Process Leading to Alternatives
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?
"Negative Growth": Rebirth of a Revolutionary Concept
Proposals for a Fair and Sustainable Economy
Final Declaration of the Sixth World Parliamentary Forum - Caracas 2006
Call to Multiply the Village of Alternatives
Proposals for a New World Governance
Does Global Governance Ensure That the Global Public Interest Is Served?
Building Consensus on Food Safety Programs among Consumer and Public Health Organizations
Proposal for a Charter of Universal Responsibilities
Moving Closer toward an International Standard on Corporate Social Responsibility
Basic Food Income: Option or Obligation?
The UN Reform and the Alterglobalization Movement
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.