Trade, Money, and Finances
On the Road to a Citizens Assembly
Regulating Transnational Companies: 46 Proposals
Rio+20 and Beyond. No Future without Justice
Governance for Sustainability
The World March of Women Third International Action
People’s Food Sovereignty Statement
Proposals for a Fair and Sustainable Economy
Raising International Climate Finance
Thirty years of Habitat I: no more neoliberal model of cities!
The IMF, the World Bank, and Respect of Human Rights
Setting up an Arbitration Tribunal on Debt: An Alternative Solution?
Campaign for People’s Goals for Sustainable Development
Final Declaration of the Sixth World Parliamentary Forum - Caracas 2006
A Global Pension Plan
Alterglobalization, a Long-term Process Leading to Alternatives
FASE’s Commitment to a Sustainable and Democratic Amazonia
Winnowing Wheat from Chaff
For a Democratic Cosmopolitarian Movement
Seven Leverage Points for the Passage from Economy to Œconomy
Proposal for a Charter of Universal Responsibilities
Inventing a New World Governance Now
The Armed Forces and World Governance
Governance of the World Banana Trade
Political Oversight of the ICANN: A Briefing for the WSIS Summit
The Challenge of Environmental Governance
Negative Growth or Sustainable Development?
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.