The BRICS countries have recently started a new bank called the New Development Bank. Starting with an initial capital base of US $50 billion that is predicted to increase to US $100 billion, the bank's responsibility will be to finance infrastructure needs in the BRICS countries as well as other developing countries.
Post-crisis regulatory reform efforts show that developing countries are rule takers and G7 countries are the rule makers. All this in spite of the fact that the epicentre of the international financial crisis occurred in developed countries. So why should many of the regulators and supervisors in developed countries claim to know best practices for developing countries?
At the IMF-World Bank meetings this past week, there were plenty of assessments of the state of the global economy that described the post-2008 recovery as anemic. Only a few went so far as to claim that the global economy is comatose. Yet, despite general agreement on the diagnosis, there was little consensus on how to solve the problem.
As the world economy continues to struggle, people are taking to the streets by the thousands to protest painful cuts in public spending designed to reduce government debt and deficits. This fiscal fury is understandable. People want to regain the confidence they once had about the future when the economy was booming and more of us had jobs.But after a protracted economic crisis, this will take planning, fair burden-sharing, and time itself.
At the IMF and World Bank Group annual meetings in Tokyo, the European economic crisis was never off the agenda and often took centre stage in panel discussions. In the streets of Athens, Madrid, and in cities of other fiscal adjusting European states, there is a real belief that this new economic reality will result in a lost generation.
Our government's heavy-handed interventions in the labour market weaken basic labour rights, and that hurts all middle class Canadians. If workers are left with no outlet to seek fair compensation and working conditions, they will find other means of collective expression. Their frustration could result in spontaneous work disruptions, with a profound effect on productivity.
Quebec's unruly students are no different than the Greeks. Both have enjoyed free rides for years, both are being asked to pay their share of the tab and both are refusing to do so. The Greeks are going to fall behind the Romanians in living standards in short order while the students are making a fuss over a pittance. That makes the Quebec students, in a sense, even more irresponsible.
On top of the generalized global interest about Argentina's move to nationalize its largest energy company YPF, the majority owner of which had been the Spanish energy company Repsol, there is a special local twist as the Mexican President Felipe Calderón has been particularly critical of Argentina's move calling it "very regrettable."