Jamaica appears to be approaching the 50th anniversary of its independence in a state of virtual debt bondage and IMF trusteeship. Mark Weisbrot argues that the austerity programme being imposed on the country, and on the eurozone countries, will push these economies even further into recession and ultimately make it harder for them to service their debts.
“The paper notes that Jamaica remains one of the most highly indebted countries in the world, and that its interest payments as a percent of GDP were higher than anywhere else in the world in 2011, including even crisis-stricken countries in the eurozone. Jamaica’s large debt burden has displaced most other public expenditures, taking up almost 50 percent of total budgeted spending over the last four fiscal years while health and education have been only around 20 percent combined.”
Click here for CEPR report
We commend the efforts of the Minister of Finance in coming to grips with some of the most difficult problems in the economy (but) relentless efforts must be made to root out corruption, non-performance and waste in the society as well as crime. Civil society and the Trade Unions have to become fully engaged in the co-management of the economy and see to it that every initiative announced through the Budget is implemented without delay…
Alex Dupuy, a native of Haiti, is a professor of sociology at Wesleyan University and the author most recently of “The Prophet and Power: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the Inter-national Community, and Haiti.” From the Stabroek News, January 10, 2011 (A shorter version first appeared in the Washington Post on Friday, January 7, 2011.)
The international community responded immediately and massively to the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010…The Haitian population welcomed and was grateful for the humanitarian response and gesture of international solidarity. By contrast, today Haitians are increasingly impatient, discontented, and saying “they’ve had enough” with the United Nations, the international community, and the Haitian government for the lack of progress in rebuilding the economy and the lives shattered by the earthquake…
Professor Alex Dupuy, who is Haitian. writes that “There is no doubt that the dominant economic and political classes of Haiti bear great responsibility for the abysmal conditions in the country that exacerbated the impact of the earthquake (or of hurricanes or tropical storms). However, these local actors did not create these conditions alone but did so in close partnership with foreign governments and economic actors with long-standing interests in Haiti, principally those of the advanced countries-the United States, Canada, and France-and their international financial institutions (IFIs)-the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank”.He outlines a five-point Agenda for Change, beginning with rejection of structural adjustment polices, a large-scale public works programme and prioritisation of food security and food sovereignty.
Uodated version (Click on “Exclusives”)
The UN Conference on the Global Financial and Economic Crisis held on June 24-26 June 2009 was a very significant event, especially since there will be a follow-up mechanism, in a working group to be set up under the UN General Assembly. The South Centre’s Bulletin of 7 July 2009 is a special issue devoted to an analysis of the outcome and containing extracts of the proposals made by the G77 and China, at the conference.
Editorial: The Significance of the UN Conference on the Financial Crisis
Remarks on the Outcome Document of the United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development, By Yilmaz Akyí¼z
Follow Up to Conference: UN Sets Big Agenda for Economic Crisis Action
The UN’s Role Is Established, Now the Focus Is on the Follow Up
South’s Leaders Stress the UN’s Leading Role In Economic Affairs, by Bhumika Muchhala
Six Key Issues in the UN Conference on Economic Crisis, by Martin Khor
South Centre’s Press Conference at the UN
UNCTAD and South Centre Call for Avoiding New Debt Crisis
Some Key G77 and China Proposals in the UN Conference on Financial Crisis
Michael Hudson’s recent article (The Ending of America’s Financial-Military Empire, CounterPunch 15/06/09) is as usual very insightful. But whilst we see the beginning of the end of the empire, we must be vigilant that it is precisely towards its impending demise that the empire is likely to be at its most aggressive. (We are lucky with Obama, he is a good man, but the empire is the global military-industrial-financial complex).
I am from a small country-Uganda– and frankly I do not trust the bigger countries in the south (I mean their ruling elites)…
Hopes on a beneficial outcome from the G20 meeting were dashed by its communiqué which was long on words and promises and very short on direct deliverables for poor countries and vulnerable small countries such as those in the Caribbean…
The G20 Summit in London on 2 April last was projected by the organisers and the Western leaders as having agreed to a US$1,100 billion trillion package of, measures to boost the sagging world economy, and especially to help developing countries. The trillion figure was what caught the headlines. But as serious analysis shows, this figure purporting to be new money was more hype than reality…
Submitted by Third World Network to the UN Commission of Experts on the Global Financial Crisis
The IMF had suffered a sharp decline in its lending business in recent years until the present global financial crisis led to a resurgence in lending. The Group of 20 (G20) has empowered the IMF by making it the key lending institution for crisis-affected countries in need of balance of payments support. …This preliminary assessment, which is a part of TWN’s ongoing study of IMF financial crisis loans, reveals that the Fund’s fiscal and monetary policies remain as tight and restrictive now as they have been in previous years
Presentation at XI Conference on Globalization and Problems of Development, Havana, Cuba, 2-6 March 2009.
An understanding of the contextual nature of poverty has implications for responses that seek to improve social status and economic well-being. The presentation explores the implications of using a ” one size fits all approach” to eradicating poverty and postulates that effective anti-poverty programs must be based upon a sound understanding of the local context of a country. It aims is to stimulate critical debate and discussion of the ways in which the multidimensional and context specific causes of poverty can be integrated into dynamic and comprehensive perspectives on poverty eradication as a modification to the prevailing neo-liberal prescription in developing countries.
Prepared as part of a North-South Institute (Ottawa) project, this paper discusses the reform of the international development architecture within an analytical framework of power imbalances and development knowledge hierarchies. It argues for a context-specific and locally driven approach to development, with the knowledge empowerment of the South playing a central role. Hierarchies should be inverted so that the international development architecture becomes South-driven and North-supported. Development cooperation should recognize diversity, accept policy heterodoxy, and be oriented to support building endogenous Southern capabilities in development knowledge.