Trade, Money, and Finances
On the Road to a Citizens Assembly
Rio+20 and Beyond. No Future without Justice
Rediscovering Nelson Mandela for the Twenty-first Century
Political and Institutional Governance
The World March of Women Third International Action
“Guadalajara Declaration on the future of the city”. A Proposal
Thirty years of Habitat I: no more neoliberal model of cities!
Dictionary of World Power
Setting up an Arbitration Tribunal on Debt: An Alternative Solution?
The IMF, the World Bank, and Respect of Human Rights
Nairobi World Parliamentary Forum Resolution
Final Declaration of the Sixth World Parliamentary Forum - Caracas 2006
Persistent corruption in low-income countries requires global action
Oil slicks: An Ocean of Profits
FASE’s Commitment to a Sustainable and Democratic Amazonia
Alterglobalization, a Long-term Process Leading to Alternatives
Alternative World Water Forum
What Europe does the world need?
Capitalism Has Failed: 5 Bold Ways to Build a New World
Seven Leverage Points for the Passage from Economy to Œconomy
Moving Toward a New World Governance
Governance of the World Banana Trade
Rio+20: Failed Diplomacy, Feeble Democracy
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.