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New Left Review 46, July-August 2007

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 early years of the twenty-first century have been characterized by generally benign global macroeconomic conditions. [1] In addition to the cited references, I have drawn on discussions with Jane D’Arista, Jakob Vestergaard, Kevin Young, Charles Goodhart and Howard Davies. The equity bubble has continued to expand, and the us recession many expected in the wake of 9.11 has failed to materialize. Growth rates in much of the developing world are at record-breaking levels, above all in China, trends which have helped the us sustain ballooning current-account deficits. As a result, according to Kenneth Rogoff, chief economist at the imf from 2001–03, ‘the policy community has developed a smug belief that enhanced macroeconomic stability at the national level combined with continuing financial innovation at the international level have obviated any need to tinker with the [international financial] system’. [2] Kenneth Rogoff, ‘No Grand Plans, but the Financial System Needs Fixing’, Financial Times, 8 February 2007.

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Robert Wade, ‘A New Global Financial Architecture?’, NLR 46: £3

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