Charting the impact of fluctuating currencies, volatile stock markets and interest rates on the developing world since the end of the Bretton Woods system, Robert Wade contends that untrammelled mobility of capital—private funds above all—reinforces dynamics of debt and underdevelopment.
CHOKING THE SOUTH
World Finance and Underdevelopment
Critics of neoliberal globalization have tended to focus on the role of the international institutions—imf, wto, World Bank—rather than on the world financial system itself. Yet in the post-Bretton Woods era, the functioning of the latter has been a major source of vulnerability for developing countries, exposing large swathes of their populations to sudden falls in real incomes and depressing national growth rates. It is, of course, difficult to disentangle the effects of the financial system from those of, say, the trade system, which also puts obstacles in the way of former ‘Third World’ countries rising up the value-chain into higher value-added activities. In combination, these systems have produced the slow rate of average income growth of most developing countries over the past quarter-century. Per capita international income distribution has become more unequal by several plausible measures, as has income distribution between the world’s households.
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By the same author:
Lessons from Iceland
The extraordinary rise and fall of Iceland’s ﬁnancial-casino economy. Wade and Sigurgeirsdóttir describe the island’s neoliberal turn under a quasi-feudal elite turned banking oligopoly, and its prospects amidst the triple crisis—currency, banking, sovereign debt—now bestriding it.
Financial Regime Change?
As stock markets plunge and governments scramble to bail out the finance sector, Robert Wade argues that we are exiting the neoliberal paradigm that has held sway since the 1980s. Causes and repercussions of the crisis, and errors of the model that brought it to fruition.
A New Global Financial Architecture?
As the world economy shows growing signs of vulnerability, what mechanisms exist for averting repeats of the Asian or Mexican crises? Banking and regulatory regimes as instruments of standardization, pulling national economies into Anglo-American orbits.
The Ringmaster of Doha
Robert Wade on Michael Moore, A World Without Walls. The road from Seattle to Cancún. Back-room politics of the global trade agenda in the account of an ex-Director General of the WTO.
Showdown at the World Bank
‘International financial institutions’ are more national than they seem. Robert Wade reveals how tightly the US Treasury monitors and controls the World Bank, and how quickly it will stamp out departures from its orthodoxy.
The Gathering World Slump and the Battle over Capital Controls
The Asian Crisis: The High Debt Model Versus the Wall Street-Treasury-IMF Complex
Japan, the World Bank, and the Art of Paradigm Maintenance: The East Asian Miracle in Political Perspective