Trade, Money, and Finances
On the Road to a Citizens Assembly
A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility
Political Oversight of the ICANN: A Briefing for the WSIS Summit
Alterglobalization, a Long-term Process Leading to Alternatives
Proposal Papers for the Rio+20 Peoples Summit
Political and Institutional Governance
Declaration of Nyéléni
Education International’s Response to the Global Monitoring Report 2006 on "Literacy for Life"
Dictionary of World Power
Setting up an Arbitration Tribunal on Debt: An Alternative Solution?
Campaign for People’s Goals for Sustainable Development
Nairobi World Parliamentary Forum Resolution
"Negative Growth": Rebirth of a Revolutionary Concept
Territories and Globalization: The Stakes of Development
Proposals for a Fair and Sustainable Economy
FASE’s Commitment to a Sustainable and Democratic Amazonia
The Commons, the State and Transformative Politics
Winnowing Wheat from Chaff
Persistent corruption in low-income countries requires global action
Rio+20: Failed Diplomacy, Feeble Democracy
For a Democratic Cosmopolitarian Movement
Proposals for a New World Governance
Inventing a New World Governance Now
Oil slicks: An Ocean of Profits
Globalization, Post-materialism and Threefolding
Do Space and Action Have to Be Contradictory? Toward an Inclusive WSF Strategy
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.