Thursday, October 02, 2003

Globalization & Discontents

Ah, finally found a definitive book on IFI's [international financial institutions]. Nobelist Joseph Stiglitz has a proper perspective of real world economics in light of the recent financial turmoil, crashes, and ongoing dangers. If you, like I, are looking for a balanced center left opinion of the above, here it is:

A must-read in globalization and international finance,
Reviewer: Aceous from Saudi Arabia
As a consequence of the great advances mankind achieved in the fields of communication and travel; globalization was not a choice anymore as much as an actual reality. It was not a question of whether to accept globalization or not, but rather a question of how to channel its forces to serve the benefits of all those that are involved. Global institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO had to be brought into existence to regulate the process of globalization. Each institute was given a main directive to pursue, and that for the IMF was the difficult task of ensuring global economic stability.

Unfortunately, one does not have to be an economist to realize that the IMF failed miserably in its mission. The East Asian crisis of the late 1990's, the so-far failing conversion of Russia from communism to capitalism, and more recently, the Argentina crisis are exactly what the IMF should have prevented or, at least, significantly minimized.

However, The author tells us in this book that these failures did not happen in despite of the IMF, but , shockingly, because of the IMF. And in the cases that the IMF was not the cause of the failure, it caused that failure to bloat and metastasize.

What makes this book more remarkable is that the author, Joseph E. Stiglitz, is not someone to take lightly, but a Nobel prize co-winner in economics who served on the Council of Economic Advisers under president Bill Clinton and later became the chief economist and senior vice president at the World Bank. ...{review continued}

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