south-north development monitor - SUNS [Email Edition]

SUNS #4357
Thursday, 21 January 1999


Finance: Too many shoes, not all in South, waiting to drop? (Chakravarthi Raghavan, Geneva)

Finance: From IMF to IMF - 'curb globalization' (Someshwar Singh, Geneva)

Brazil: States demand one year debt moratorium (IPS, Rio de Janeiro)

Thailand: 'Deja Vu' feeling after Brazil shock (IPS, Bangkok)

Finance: IMF admits mistakes, defends role in Asia (IPS, Washington)

Latin America: The "Financial Time Bomb" (IPS, Havana)

Environment: New economic model needed for next century (IPS, Washington)

Excerpts from selected articles:

Finance: Too many shoes, not all in South, waiting to drop ?

Geneva, 19 Jan (Chakravarthi Raghavan) -- It would be tempting to say, after the floating of the Brazilian Real and its devaluation, that the other shoe has dropped -- excepting, as an international official put it, there are far too many shoes, and far too many wobbly legs (in the South and the North) in the global financial system.

If wisdom and intellectual humility is not in such short supply in Washington (and its institutions, national and global), and if the "Asian" vice of "saving the face" has not become so dominant an influence on the leaders of the IMF and the US Treasury, there could be a course reveal in global policy and the world could inch back from the brink of a major crash.

As the financial crisis, beginning in Thailand in 1997, spread across the world last year, in spurts, it appeared for a brief while that the crisis may be contained, and Latin America could escape.

But that hope has been belied by the developments in Brazil.........

Finance: From IMF to IMF - 'curb globalization'

Geneva, Jan 20 (Someshwar Singh) -- The International Metalworkers Federation (IMF), with affiliates in 95 countries and more than 20 million workers in manufacturing, has called for immediate intervention by governments to check the financial globalisation and prevent a new world recession with unpredictable social consequences.

The Geneva-based IMF said that with the recent crisis in Brazil and other emerging markets, it is the entire international monetary system that is being rocked by financial globalisation and that unregulated financial markets can plunge the whole planet into a prolonged economic turmoil.

"More than ever, we have good reasons to question the liberal creed and challenge the arrogance of the professionals of finance," said Marcello Malentacchi, the IMF General Secretary. "Markets left to themselves do not bring prosperity but chaos, and recent developments show the fallacy of those who have been praising the virtues of liberal orthodoxy. In 1998, economic growth was halved, manufacturing output contracted and unemployment reached new heights." ...


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