Beyond the crisis renewing finance demanding economic justice
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Beyond the crisis: renewing finance, demanding economic justice. Alex Wilks, Director, Eurodad/ODG international conference, June 2009. Beyond our bubbles. Bubbles: asset prices, development advocates

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Beyond the crisis renewing finance demanding economic justice

Beyond the crisis:renewing finance, demanding economic justice.

Alex Wilks, Director, Eurodad/ODG international conference, June 2009

Beyond our bubbles

Beyond our bubbles

  • Bubbles: asset prices, development advocates

  • Look at our own societies and companies more as the multiple crises have a large part of their causes here

  • New alliances needed to guard against political marginalisation.

  • European cross-networking process as an example.

Political outlook

Political outlook

  • Last November at our General Assembly there was excitement about the opportunities that this crisis affords to get more attention to some of the work we’ve been doing on structural and radical changes to the financial system

    • Right wing is seen as safe pair of hands compared to left. European Parliament elections.

    • We need to catch the popular anger and confusion with new messages and proposals.

      • Example: Sovereign, Democratic and Responsible lending framework, agreed by many groups. This contrasts with the limited, managerial, OECD/G8 ‘Lecce’ framework on Propriety, Integrity and , announced on Saturday.

Questioning the model

Questioning the model

  • For tactical reasons (and the difficulties of explaining theory to certain audiences) many organisations will want to focus on small, specific, parts of the overall problem.

  • But it is important to have a view of the overall picture.

    • “Perverse flows” from poorer to richer countries.

    • Over-consumption and environmental limits

    • Finance sector that evades regulation and expands relentlessly

Evolution of development finance messages by northern ngos

Evolution of development finance messages by Northern NGOs

  • Evolution of Northern development and solidarity NGO messages from:

    • give us the money,

    • to government aid

    • to debt to capital flight

    • to structures and policy mechanisms.

    • … to an agenda that links Northern and Southern financial transformation and economic justice?

  • But still the myth of ‘generosity’ and the language of ‘charity’ persist, among NGOs and the public.

  • Many Southern networks talk more of compensation, reparations, justice.

Ending debt domination

Ending debt domination

  • Spain holds the record for debt defaults. Defaulted

    • seven times in the nineteenth century, and

    • six times in the preceding three centuries.

  • Debt under discussion everywhere now as our governments sink under it.

  • IMF predicts at least one third oflow-income country governments are at risk of debt distress.

    • We need better proposals to prevent a new wave of bad debt and to embolden governments to challenge the existing inequitable architecture that governs debt work outs.

      • Permanent Court of Arbitration

Ending illicit capital flight

Ending illicit capital flight

  • Visible capital flows now net negative.

  • But illicit, officially invisible flows much larger. Tax havens and TNCs a large part of the problem.

  • Tax havens measures. Like a burglar in a local bar with other thieves making vague transparency promises

    • European Savings Directive approach and country by country reporting

Beyond the crisis renewing finance demanding economic justice


  • Aid pledges are these days worth as much as an Lehman Brothers share certificate.

  • Danger of too little, too bad money flowing to developing countries. (House of cards/conjuring trick).

  • Perverse flows on top of perverse flows (Brazil funding Eastern Europe via the IMF).

  • Southern task force to investigate and publish on problems with aid in our societies

Institutional jockeying

Institutional jockeying

  • G8, OECD, IMF getting more powerful.

  • UN getting our support – but what can it achieve.

  • Regional bodies moving forward – but what part can they play in global regulation and transfers?

  • Impossible architecture Social Watch report cover.

Conference objectives

Conference objectives

  • Learn more about the economic, social and environmental impacts of the current crises;

  • Deepen our challenge to the prevailing economic model;

  • Discuss measures to enable developing country governments to raise and retain funds, including measures on debt cancellation and tax evasion;

  • Determine the most responsible and effective ways to channel finance to Southern countries as emergency finance and as medium-term support.

  • Debate how to achieve structural change to put in place accountable institutions to regulate and redistribute finance in a responsible and accountable manner;

  • Consider the results of recent mobilisation and advocacy and consider new ways to spread our messages to the public and to decision-makers.

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