Trade and Development Report 2011

Post-crisis Policy Challenges in the World Economy

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Reforms of financial regulations are progressing slowly and only at the national level, monetary system reform is limited. After an interlude that some considered as a return to Keynesianism, the orientation of macroeconomic policy, especially fiscal policy, is back to business as usual. This will hinder a sustained recovery of the world economy and open the door for new financial crises. Thus, the rethinking of policies and reshaping the financial and monetary system remain an urgent task. This publication makes concrete proposals on how, and in which priority areas, to advance with strengthening regulation of the financial sector and commodity markets, reform of the international monetary system, and the reorientation of fiscal policy.



Financial re-regulation and restructuring

Financial markets are supposed to mobilize resources and allow their efficient allocation for productive investment. In addition, they are expected to facilitate transactions and reduce transaction costs, as well as reduce risk by providing insurance against low probability but high-cost events. Therefore, those markets are often seen as instrumental in promoting economic growth and broad social development. However, the hard reality is that they often serve as a means of speculation and financial accumulation without directly contributing to economic development and improving living standards, and throughout history they have been fraught with crises.


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