The monster is still untamed

Published on IFIs Choike.org, source Social Watch, Oct. 14, 2009.

Istanbul meetings legitimized the debate on the “Tobin tax” on international financial transactions or the idea of imposing a “global tax” on banks to bail out poor countries in case of a crisis, just as savings are ensured at the national level. According to DSK, “this is the starting point for a new IMF and you can proudly tell your grandchildren that you were in Istanbul when it all started” …

… Istanbul meetings legitimized the debate on the “Tobin tax” on international financial transactions or the idea of imposing a “global tax” on banks to bail out poor countries in case of a crisis, just as savings are ensured at the national level. According to DSK, “this is the starting point for a new IMF and you can proudly tell your grandchildren that you were in Istanbul when it all started.”  

However, none of those ambitious and popular ideas –at least for most clients of the IMF- was really adopted in Istanbul. In the best of cases, they were postponed until “better studied”, that is to say, until there is enough political will among the countries of the G7 that hold the majority and, especially, that of the US.

This perhaps explains the relative pessimism of a predecessor in office to DSK, former German IMF managing director Horst Koehler, who now holds the ceremonial post of president of his country.

Speaking to unions in Berlin, coinciding with the meeting in Istanbul, Koehler said the international financial markets have become “a monster”. He added that “the market alone does not do everything well” and that “an energetic State and intergovernmental regulation is needed”. The German President advised unions to “participate” in the economic policy together with the new center-right government, because “I do not see that the monster is on its way of being tamed”. (full text).

(This article was first published in Spanish language by Agenda Global, a weekly supplement published by La Diaria, in Montevideo, Uruguay).

Link: La Diaria Newspaper: Face, 4: Reality is complex. To understand it, you have to keep some distance. La Diaria. The independent newspaper.

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