By R. Nastranis | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) - Economic austerity is spreading its tentacles to rich and poor countries around the world threatening to impact 5.8 billion citizens this year, and 6.3 billion or 90 percent of global population by 2015, warns a new report and calls for a Global New Deal to stave off the menacing situation.
A Global New Deal involves public investments to boost employment, catalyse sustainable development, improve living standards, reduce inequalities and promote political stability, says the report, titled ‘The Age of Austerity – A Review of Public Expenditures and Adjustment Measures in 181 Countries’.
By Martin Khor* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
GENEVA (IDN) - The issue of foreign debt has made a major comeback. This is due to the crisis in Europe, in which many countries had to seek big bailouts to keep them from defaulting on their loan payments. Before this, debt crises have been associated with African and Latin American countries. In 1997-99, three East Asian countries also joined the indebted countries’ club.
European countries, notably Germany, insisted that private creditors share the burden of resolving the Greek crisis. They had to take a “haircut” of about half, meaning that they would be repaid only half the amount they were owed.
By Julio Godoy* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) - Under different conditions, the recent admission by the head economist of the International Monetary Fund, Olivier Blanchard, that the Fund was dead wrong when it prescribed tough austerity measures to countries trapped in a sovereign debt crisis and in recession, would be a reason for satisfaction. But the price paid by the youth in Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, to name only the European victims of the IMF ill advices, is too high for celebrating being right.
By J C Suresh
TORONTO (IDN) - As part of a wider strategy to support concessional lending to poorer countries that are combating the effects of the global economic crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a two-year extension to the zero interest rates charged on loans to low-income countries
Subsequent to further weakening of global growth and low-income countries' declining ability to withstand the crisis, the IMF approved a second extension to the exceptional interest waiver on loans under its Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT).
A spate of lawsuits triggered by transnational corporations against Argentina, Ecuador, India. Indonesia, Uruguay, Vietnam, Australia and Canada, involving compensation worth billions of dollars is causing grave public concern and preparing the ground for reviewing so-called bilateral investment treaties.
By Martin Khor* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
GENEVA (IDN) - A growing number of international law suits has highlighted an emerging global crisis: the nature and effects of investment treaties signed between governments, which are allowing private companies and investors to sue countries for millions or even billions of dollars.
By Jaya Ramachandran
PARIS (IDN) - The economies of China and India are poised to outshine those of the United States and Western Europe over the next half century, though an overwhelming majority of the Chinese and Indians are unlikely to attain the living standards of citizens in the rich industrial countries, predicts a new study.
Titled Looking to 2060: A Global Vision of Long-term Growth, the report expects the United States to cede its place as the world's largest economy to China, as early as 2016. India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is also projected to exceed that of the U.S. over the long term.
By Martin Khor*
GENEVA (IDN) - There were sobering messages on global economic prospects emerging from the 2012 meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on October 14 in Tokyo.
Developing countries' Finance Ministers and Central Bank officials voiced their concerns on the failure of developed countries to deal with their economic situation and on the policy and political paralysis preventing solutions.
By Martin Khor *
The Eurozone crisis and the slowdown of the U.S. economy is impacting China, India and major countries in South America and Africa. They are increasingly faced with deterioration in GDP growth and exports. The forecast of a "staggering rise of the South" is turning out to be a myth.
GENEVA (IDN) - Developing countries are increasingly being adversely affected by the economic recession in Europe and the slowdown in the United States. The hope that major emerging economies like China, India and Brazil would continue to have robust growth, de-coupling from Western economies and becoming an alternative engine of global growth has been dashed by recent data showing that they are themselves weakening.
By Peter Wahl*
BERLIN (IDN) - The European Union (EU) continues to be unable to solve its multiple crises. The risk of a default of Greece on repayment of its debt (bonds) in the next three months, or of the country leaving the Euro has increased considerably.
By Peter Wahl*
BERLIN (IDN) - The tension around the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) was growing before the March 13 Council meeting of European Ministers of Finance (ECOFIN). Finance ministers from nine EU countries – Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain – had written a letter applying substantial pressure on the Danish presidency. In EU diplomacy such a letter is quite a strong instrument.
By Jaya Ramachandran
LONDON (IDN) – Western companies should guard against high risks involved in doing business as usual with African countries that have recently discovered offshore oil. A new report asks them to be prepared to manage the perils stemming from "resource nationalism" in institutionally fragile and politically volatile nations.