* The Tobin Tax Lives Again. Powerful message to the casino Tobin tax-like proposals are back on the agenda. Latest example: France and Germany managed to get the financial transaction tax (FTT) proposal de facto into the Pittsburgh Declaration of the G20. The IMF is tasked to prepare a report on instruments to make the financial industry "a fair and substantial contribution toward paying for any burdens associated with government interventions to repair the banking system". Dani Rodrik comments.
* Beyond G20 Proposals: UNCTAD Calls for New Exchange-Rate Management More effective regulation and supervision of financial market activity is indispensable to prevent a repeat of the current global financial and economic crisis. But equally important is a reform of the international monetary and financial system aimed at reducing the scope for gains from currency speculation, and at avoiding large trade imbalances, concludes the new Trade and Development Report(TDR). WDEV summarizes UNCTAD’s approach to such reform.
* World Bank/FAO: Deceptive Fortune Tellers. Commercial agriculture in Africa The dimensions are truly gigantic: „A vast stretch of African savannah land that spreads across 25 countries has the potential to turn several African nations into global players in bulk commodity production“, reads a press release from the FAO. Four million km2 of Guinea Savannah, „one of the largest underused agricultural land reserves in the world“, could be developed for commercial agriculture, says a new FAO-World Bank study reviewed by Uwe Hoering.
* The Scent of Money and the Stench of Corruption. Dams and corruption When there is a chance to push a big loan out the door, some people just can’t say no. Every World Bank President since James Wolfensohn has committed to fight the cancer of corruption. For more than ten years, the Bank has talked the talk, but has not walked the walk. Peter Bosshard comments on the latest dam project in pipeline.
Weakening of workers' rights in most regions is being aggravated by severe crackdowns on freedom of speech and assembly, according to the 2016 Global Rights Index. Restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, including severe crackdowns in some countries, increased by 22%, with 50 out of 141 countries surveyed recording restrictions.
The year 2015 was marked on the one hand by the inability of the European Union (EU) to emerge from the crisis, and on the other by a dramatic rise in the number of people taking flight from their homes and from their homelands, because of wars and terrorist attacks, in many cases caused by the destructive policies of the EU and of its member states.
The world economy stumbled in 2015 and only a modest improvement is projected for 2016/17 as a number of cyclical and structural headwinds persist, says the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2016 report. Global growth is estimated at a mere 2.4% in 2015.
Within a few weeks leftwing governments in Latin America have experienced a breath-taking decline. The Latin American (centre-) left forces suffered several strategic defeats. They occurred in the biggest Latin American economies. First in Argentina, than in Venezuela, and also in Brazil the days of an uncontested majority of left forces are definitely over now.
14 years after their previous strategy on gender mainstreaming, the WBG has decided to develop a new Gender Equality (GE) Strategy. This briefing document presents WIDE+ critical reflections and key recommendations to enhance the new World Bank Group's (WBG) strategy on Gender Equality.