This past weekend, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty managed to rally China, Brazil and South Korea behind him at G20 meetings in Busan, South Korea, and put those pesky discussions about a global bank tax to rest.
Instead of discussing a bank tax at this month's summit, the G20 agreed to "develop principles reflecting the need to protect taxpayers, reduce risks from the financial system, protect the flow of credit in good times and bad, taking into account individual country's circumstances and options."
What’s changed in the international financial system and its institutions, what hasn’t and what needs to
Back in 1995, the G7 met in Halifax during a “time of change and opportunity.” The meeting took place in a context of mounting deficits and debt crises in countries in the South; in the wake of economic collapse in Mexico; and amid strong global criticism from civil society, the media and governments about the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) austere neo-liberal structural adjustment policies.
A lot has changed since then, partly in response to the Halifax G7 Summit and subsequent G7 and G8 meetings. Too many of these improvements, however, exist only on paper. Beyond the surface, the neo-liberal, market-oriented bias that guides the Bank and Fund’s agenda and thinking has not altered.
The 2010 G8 Summit in Toronto in 2010 takes place during another “time of change and opportunity.” The financial crisis has spurred many civil society organizations (CSOs) to insist on far-reaching changes to the global financial system and its institutions. Clearly, as this publication will illustrate, 15 years of refusing to deal with the manifest shortcomings of the global economic system is enough.
International Monetary Fund,
700 19th Street, N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20431
Dear Mr. Strauss-Kahn:
Re: Request for civil society participation in IMF study on how the financial sector can help pay for the bailouts
In September, the Group of 20 (G20), at their summit in Pittsburgh, mandated the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with preparing a report ahead of the next G20 summit in June 2010 to consider “how the financial sector could make a fair and substantial contribution toward paying for any burdens associated with government interventions to repair the banking system.”