Trade, Money, and Finances
On the Road to a Citizens Assembly
Regulating Transnational Companies: 46 Proposals
Setting up an Arbitration Tribunal on Debt: An Alternative Solution?
Civil Society Politics Manifesto
Hearing on Neo-liberal Politics and European Transnational Corporations in Latin America and the Caribbean
Does Global Governance Ensure That the Global Public Interest Is Served?
The IMF, the World Bank, and Respect of Human Rights
Political and Institutional Governance
Nairobi World Parliamentary Forum Resolution
Campaign for People’s Goals for Sustainable Development
A Global Pension Plan
What Amazonia Does the World Need?
Final Declaration of the Sixth World Parliamentary Forum - Caracas 2006
Alternative World Water Forum
The Commons, the State and Transformative Politics
Alterglobalization, a Long-term Process Leading to Alternatives
For a Democratic Cosmopolitarian Movement
Fair Coop, the Earth cooperative for a fair economy
The Emergence of Global Administrative Law
Moving Closer toward an International Standard on Corporate Social Responsibility
Building Consensus on Food Safety Programs among Consumer and Public Health Organizations
China: Sustainable Development Strategy Report 2009
Kicking the Habit: The World Bank and the IMF Are Still Addicted to Attaching Economic-policy Conditions to Aid
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.