* The Tobin Tax Lives Again. Powerful message to the casino Tobin tax-like proposals are back on the agenda. Latest example: France and Germany managed to get the financial transaction tax (FTT) proposal de facto into the Pittsburgh Declaration of the G20. The IMF is tasked to prepare a report on instruments to make the financial industry "a fair and substantial contribution toward paying for any burdens associated with government interventions to repair the banking system". Dani Rodrik comments.
* Beyond G20 Proposals: UNCTAD Calls for New Exchange-Rate Management More effective regulation and supervision of financial market activity is indispensable to prevent a repeat of the current global financial and economic crisis. But equally important is a reform of the international monetary and financial system aimed at reducing the scope for gains from currency speculation, and at avoiding large trade imbalances, concludes the new Trade and Development Report(TDR). WDEV summarizes UNCTAD’s approach to such reform.
* World Bank/FAO: Deceptive Fortune Tellers. Commercial agriculture in Africa The dimensions are truly gigantic: „A vast stretch of African savannah land that spreads across 25 countries has the potential to turn several African nations into global players in bulk commodity production“, reads a press release from the FAO. Four million km2 of Guinea Savannah, „one of the largest underused agricultural land reserves in the world“, could be developed for commercial agriculture, says a new FAO-World Bank study reviewed by Uwe Hoering.
* The Scent of Money and the Stench of Corruption. Dams and corruption When there is a chance to push a big loan out the door, some people just can’t say no. Every World Bank President since James Wolfensohn has committed to fight the cancer of corruption. For more than ten years, the Bank has talked the talk, but has not walked the walk. Peter Bosshard comments on the latest dam project in pipeline.
At first glance, everyday life seems not to have changed in Istanbul. The streets are congested; people hurry to the ferry or the bus. For weeks, there has been no terror attack. Nevertheless, there are some visible changes. There are much more policemen in the streets. In some days, the Istiklal Caddesi, the main shopping street on the European side, seems to be under a state of siege. At every street corner, there is police van with the blue light switched on.
Recent disturbing trends in international finance have particularly problematic implications, especially for developing countries. The new United Nations report, World Economic Situation and Prospects 2017 (WESP 2017), is the only recent report of a multilateral inter-governmental organization to recognize these problems, especially as they are relevant to the financing requirements for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Trump government signals unequivocally the end of international US hegemony. An international hegemon is able to define rules that find relatively broad acceptance internationally and plays a role in safeguarding international economic stability. The Trump government announced measures that go against the present economic rules while not proposing new ones.
The global deficit in quality jobs and deteriorating economic conditions in a number of regions threatens to undo decades of progress in poverty reduction, warns a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO) 2016.
Weakening of workers' rights in most regions is being aggravated by severe crackdowns on freedom of speech and assembly, according to the 2016 Global Rights Index. Restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, including severe crackdowns in some countries, increased by 22%, with 50 out of 141 countries surveyed recording restrictions.