Caribbean Political Economy

Sustainable Development as an Answer to Economic and Financial Crises, Yilmaz Akyüz

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Speech by the Chief Economist of the South Centre to the Rio + 20 Conference, 16 June 2012

As seen over and again during recurrent financial crises in both developing and advanced economies (DEs and AEs), including the recent global crisis originating in the US and Europe, financial instability and boom-bust cycles undermine all three ingredients of sustainable development – economic development, social development and environmental protection…

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Silencing the message or the messenger …. or both? Statement by former UNCTAD staff members

Statement by former senior UNCTAD staff members including Secretary General Rubens Ricupero, Deputy Secretaries-General and Directors, regarding the pressure placed on UNCTAD and the G-77 by major developed countries in the preparations for UNCTAD XIII.

Since its establishment almost 50 years ago at the instigation of developing countries UNCTAD has always been a thorn in the flesh of economic orthodoxy. Its analyses of global macro-economic issues from a development perspective have regularly provided an alternative view to that offered by the World Bank and the IMF controlled by the west. Now efforts are afoot to silence that voice…

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Declaration CUUCED (Spanish version)

Battle for UNCTAD’s Future Mandate South Centre

North battles for ‘market’ supremacy, Vijay Prashad

Ex-UNCTAD Staff join battle on North Vijay Prashad

VIDEO: Global North VS South Over Financialization of Food Vijay Prashad

Debtocracy Video: The Greek Debt Crisis

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For the first time in Greece a documentary produced by the audience. Debtocracy seeks the causes of the debt crisis and proposes solutions, hidden by the government and the dominant media.

Click here to view the ‘Debtocracy’ video

The Ideological Roots Of The Global Financial Crisis: Lessons For The Caricom Caribbean, Sir Courtney N. Blackman

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Webmaster’s note: this is a revised version of Sir Courtney’s paper published on this blog in . It is being posted in the light of the current Eurozone debt crisis as well as the controversy over Blackman’s remarks on recent Nobel awards in Economics.

There is general consensus that the current global financial crisis, which originated in the USA, is the most devastating since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Martin Wolf described the unfolding events as the “disintegration of the financial system, without which, no modern economy could survive.” (1) ..

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TO THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD: Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

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As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies…


Keith Olbermann Reads The Statement Released By The Wall Street Protesters – 2011-10-05 YouTube

Occupy Wall Street: Map and list of over 200 U.S. and Canada Solidarity Events and Facebook pages

Confronting the Malefactors Paul Krugman New York Times

The Moral Clarity of Occupy Wall Street Robert Borosage OurFuture.Org

Statetmen of Support from the American Association of Universty Professors

Of Corporate Gangs and Gang Leaders, Cecil Paul

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The revelations by witnesses at the Commission of Enquiry into CL Financial and the Hindu Credit Union are not only utterly disgusting, frightening and highly shameful, but more instructive to Trinbagonians, they expose the corporate gangs, gang leaders and members operating in an environment not dissimilar to those in the Trinbago criminal underworld…


Part 2 Published 3 October 2011

Webmaster’s note: the revelations to which Cecil Paul’s article refers are coming out of the Trinidad and Tobago Commission of Enquiry into the failure of CLICO/CL Financial and the Hindu Credit Union. Go to the websites of the Trinidad Express, the Trinidad Guardian and the Trinidad Newsday for daily reports on the CoE proceedings. Go to for in-depth analysis of the on-going saga.

Also highly recommended The Odd Couple: Che and Duprey by Dr Godfrey Vincent

Samir Amin at 80: Tributes from Horace Campbell, Ama Biney, Ebrima Sall, Issa Shivji, Norman Girvan, Cameron Doudu, Bill Fletcher

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Samir Amin: A tribute to a fighter against global capitalism

Horace Campbell (2011-09-08)

Honouring Samir Amin as he celebrates his 80th birthday this month, Horace Campbell pays tribute to Amin’s tireless work ‘to strengthen effective forms of popular power’ and underlines his enormous contribution to our understanding of global capitalism’s increasing destructiveness.

Samir Amin: A titan of radical thought

Ama Biney (2011-09-08)

To understand the present capitalist economic crisis, Ama Biney contends that there is an urgent need to revisit the works of Egyptian political economist Samir Amin. His bold proposals on ending global inequalities and injustices are timely.

Samir Amin: Combining world-class scholarship with social justice

Ebrima Sall (2011-09-08)

With Samir Amin celebrating his 80th birthday this month, Ebrima Sall salutes Amin’s long-standing commitment to allying world-class scholarship with an unflinching commitment to social justice.

Tribute to Samir Amin

Issa G. Shivji (2011-09-06)

In the era of globalisation, post-modernism and culturalism, many a Marxist intellectual of the 1960s and 1970s has metamorphosed, abandoning the class stand of the working people against the voracious capitalist system and imperialism. Not so Samir Amin.

Happy birthday Samir Amin!

Norman Girvan (2011-09-06)

Your prodigious, insightful work on the nature of world capitalism, its origins and evolution, and on the long but necessary transition to socialism has educated, enlightened and inspired us over the last half a century. Truly you are one of the most original thinkers of the 20th and early 21st century. ..

Honouring Samir

Cameron Duodu (2011-09-07)

I heard of Samir Amin long before I met him. As a member of the Ghana Youth Council, I was involved in organising a conference that we thought would bring together youth movements throughout Africa to plan how we could plan together to advance the cause of Africa’s political and economic development.

Saying ‘thank you’ to Samir Amin as he turns 80

Bill Fletcher, Jr (2011-09-06)

Although I only met Samir Amin in late 2010, I had studied his work for decades, finding in them superior analyses and inspiration. In fact, after reading so much of his work I was quite unprepared for the person I actually met.

Caribbean Diplomacy For A World in Flux, Norman Girvan

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Presentation At Training Workshop For Officials Of The Foreign Ministries Of CARICOM States Organised By The Institute Of International Relations, UWI, With Support From The Government of Australia, on August 22, 2011

The world of today is infinitely more complex and volatile than the world in which most CARICOM countries attained statehood. Accordingly, the challenges to diplomacy are infinitely more complex and fast changing. But have our thinking, institutions and diplomatic practice kept pace?


IMF says pace of expansion in the region begins to moderate CaricomNews Sept 24 2011

World Bank says region’s long-term growth requires more than current China links (sept 24 2011)

Global Crisis, Norman Girvan

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To readers of ‘Caribbean Political Economy’

It has become evident that our world is caught up in a crisis of multiple dimensions-ecological, financial, economic, social and political. They are all interconnected-recent political eruptions of one sort or another reflect crises of inequality and social exclusion exacerbated by economic pressures on ordinary people everywhere that are rooted in the crisis of finance capitalism and its consequences including rising food and energy prices, growing unemployment and cuts in the social wage…


Jamaican Economy in 2010, WTO Trade Policy Review


Jamaica has continued to struggle with a narrow production structure and vulnerability to external climatic and economic shocks…The recent global economic slowdown severely impacted the Jamaican economy, resulting in declines of real GDP of 1.7% in fiscal year 2008/09 and 2.5% during 2009/10 as well as marked decreases in earnings from the export of goods and services and from remittances…


Looking Backwards into the Future, C.Y. Thomas

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Remarks at the XLII Annual Caribbean Monetary Studies Conference held in honour of Professor Thomas, Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean Centre for Money and Finance, UWI, St Augustine, November 9th – 12th, 2010, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.

Abstract ” Looking backwards into the future” suggests that important lessons can be learnt from the imperial/colonial exchange-standard (currency board system), which existed in the pre-Independence English-speaking Caribbean as these cast doubts on three ideas which I seek to contest, namely: 1) the notion of a steadily evolving truly unified and independent global economy, as strong advocates of globalisation are wont to put it 2) the supposedly ” global” nature of the on-going global crisis and 3) whether it is ultimately only the existence of nation states, which sets real limits to globalisation, as strong critics of globalisation are wont to put it.

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Global Crisis: Meltdown, Contagion and Shocks, Clive Thomas

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A series of 51 articles by Dr Clive Thomas, Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of Guyana, originally published in the Stabroek News from November 2008 to November 2009. The full titleof the collection, which has just,  been released by Professor Thomas, is Global Crisis: Financial Meltdown, Contagion and Economic Shocks: Impacts and Responses.

Click here for ‘Global Crisis’ (PDF file),  ,  

Dire Economic Prospects for the Caribbean shown by ECLAC report, Norman Girvan


The Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean, published today (21st July) by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, shows a dire situation and prospects for Caribbean countries. The cost of the global financial and economic crisis to the subregion is estimated at a huge 10% of GDP in 2009. 10 of 14 Caribbean countries experienced negative growth in that year, the worst performers being the eight countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), which contracted by 7.3% on average…

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Global Financial Crisis, IFIs and the Caribbean, Owen Arthur

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Speech delivered at the 28th Annual Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC) on June 25th, 2010. Owen Arthur was Prime Minister of Barbados from 1994 to 2008.

This presentation is intended to direct attention, deliberately so, to one matter which ought to be at the centre of public discourse, but which has lacked the focus it merits. It has to do with the response of the international financial institutions to the plight that our region has faced as a result of the global economic crisis…

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Related items

Commentary: Owen Arthur – the Caribbean Commissioner the region should have, Sir Ronald Sanders

Global Economic Governance Must Be Democratised, Lula da Silva

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“The BRIC members have not injected nearly $100 billion into the IMF just to leave everything as it was before.”

Statement from Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil,,   at the inuguration of the Summit of Brazil, Russia, India and China at their Summit in Brasilia on April 15, 2010

From Huffington Post, 15/4/2010

BRASILIA – The term “BRIC” was coined only ten years ago as an acronym meant to capture the new reality that Brazil, Russia, India and China together had come to account for 15 per cent of the world’s GDP. We are countries where everything happens on a large scale. We represent nearly one half of the world population, 20 per cent of its land surface and are rich in natural resources. Today, the BRICs have become essential players in major international decision-making…

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Official Text of the BRICS Communique

The Caribbean in a Turbulent World, Norman Girvan

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A paper that reviews regional challenges from, and responses to, the world economic crisis; structural shifts in global geo-economics and geo-politics especially the changes in the Latin American political economy; and the changing dynamics of Caribbean regionalism in relation to these developments.

Click here for paper (PDF file)

C.L. Financial: The Bailout Timeline, Afra Raymond

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This timeline, from November 2008 through December 2009, is prepared with two objectives in mind. The first is to provide an overview of the CL Financial bailout; the second, to start a critical conversation on our work as writers and analysts. The detailed material can be found in the earlier part of this series at

Click here for the timeline

CLICO again–OECS bombshell, Norman Girvan

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Fresh revelations about the operations in the Eastern Caribbean of,   the CLICO affiliate, British American Insurance Company, underline the extent of reckless corporate behaviour, the cost to taxpayers of failure to adequately regulate the financial sector, and the dangers of continued delays in completing the CSME.

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ECCU CLICO Statement

For a Union of Caribbean States, David Comissiong

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Anyone with a modicum of genuine interest in the welfare of the masses of Barbadian and Caribbean people would recognise that with a massive global economic crisis threatening unprecedented destruction, the Caribbean needs, now more than ever, to come together in brotherhood and solidarity under the banner of our “Caribbean Community” (CARICOM)!…

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Of relevance: How Small Nations Were Cut Adrift (by the Global Economic Crisis), by Gideon Rachman, Financial Times

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, the economic and political tide has turned against small nations.

Puerto Rico: The Cry for Jobs and Justice, Yarimar Bonilla

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From Stabroek News, 26/10/09.Yarimar Bonilla teaches anthropology at the University of Virginia. She has also written on the mass strike in Guadeloupe earlier this year ( [1]).

In January and October of this year two massive demonstrations took place in the Caribbean, both of which have received little if any media coverage in the Anglophone Caribbean. The first was in Guadeloupe; the second, the subject of this article, took place last week in Puerto Rico…

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