* Time to Deliver: The Group of 20 at the Crossroads. Between Toronto and Seoul The summit meeting of the Group of 20 most important industrialised and emerging countries (G20) in Toronto on 26-27 June 2010 reminded us that even extended informal management bodies in the global economy can only be as good as their member governments. Since the Pittsburgh summit last autumn there has been virtually no recognisable progress in the field of international cooperation, Rainer Falk analyses.
* Taming of Finance in Times of Austerity. From stimulus to consolidation? It was not long ago that we could say, “We are all Keynesians now.” The financial sector and its free-market ideology had brought the world to the brink of ruin. Markets clearly were not self-correcting. Deregulation had proven to be a dismal failure. The “innovations” unleashed by modern finance did not lead to higher long-term efficiency, faster growth, or more prosperity for all. A comment by Joseph E. Stiglitz
* Hungary's Defiance of IMF and EU Authorities. Guardians of austerity in Europe in disarray The government of Hungary has taken on a lot of powerful interests in the last couple of months, and so far appears to be winning – despite provoking outrage from “everybody who’s anybody.” “The IMF should hold the line,” shouted the Financial Times in an editorial the day after Hungary sent the IMF packing in July. “With so many countries in vulnerable positions, it cannot be seen to be a soft touch. Showing a few yellow and red cards is a good way to send a signal to other governments that might be tempted to flirt with indiscipline.” A comment by Mark Weisbrot
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.