Trade, Money, and Finances
Political Oversight of the ICANN: A Briefing for the WSIS Summit
Rediscovering Nelson Mandela for the Twenty-first Century
Setting up an Arbitration Tribunal on Debt: An Alternative Solution?
Assemblies emerging in Turkey: a lesson in democracy
The UN Reform and the Alterglobalization Movement
Hearing on Neo-liberal Politics and European Transnational Corporations in Latin America and the Caribbean
Final Declaration of the Sixth World Parliamentary Forum - Caracas 2006
People’s Food Sovereignty Statement
Education International’s Response to the Global Monitoring Report 2006 on "Literacy for Life"
The IMF, the World Bank, and Respect of Human Rights
Campaign for People’s Goals for Sustainable Development
Nairobi World Parliamentary Forum Resolution
Building Consensus on Food Safety Programs among Consumer and Public Health Organizations
The Commons and World Governance
Persistent corruption in low-income countries requires global action
Winnowing Wheat from Chaff
Oil slicks: An Ocean of Profits
The Commons, the State and Transformative Politics
For a Democratic Cosmopolitarian Movement
Call to Multiply the Village of Alternatives
Rio+20: Failed Diplomacy, Feeble Democracy
Regulating Transnational Companies: 46 Proposals
The Future of Democratic Sovereignty and Transnational Law
Moving Closer toward an International Standard on Corporate Social Responsibility
Kicking the Habit: The World Bank and the IMF Are Still Addicted to Attaching Economic-policy Conditions to Aid
Rethinking Global Governance
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.