What would you do with $700 billion?

I can’t get this out of my head.

I know this is simplistic, and I’d never have dreamt making this sort of comparison when I studied Development Economics two decades ago.

But wait a minute, when other, less powerful nations needed bailouts in the past, weren’t these accompanied by stringent conditions? At the same time the rich nations exalted the “invisible hand” of market capitalism, they also attached “conditionalities” to the loans called “structural adjustment programmes“. The poorest suffered the most. The bankers and government ministers did OK.

Of course, I’m not surprised by these double standards. It just leaves a bitter taste in the mouth when at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Gordon Brown advocates a “new global order, founded on transparency, not opacity”.

We do need a new global order. One based on fairness, equality, and justice for all. Not this.

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