Focus on the Global South
Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
Background to the Conference
While financial analysts assess the global financial crisis in terms of stock market indexes and currency values, the real impact is being borne by the millions of people who are being pushed further into poverty as we approach the new millennium.
Uncontrolled speculative investment and currency trading have a devastating effect on economic stability and long-term development. The crisis has shown that national economies no longer have control over vital aspects of economic policy, and that they too are subject to the whims of the market.
The inability of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to respond to the crisis with appropriate policies has called into question their capacity to understand and react to the needs of people in a rapidly changing global economy.
Against this backdrop, Conference participants were asked to develop a deeper understanding of the nature and role of financial capital and its impact on local, national and regional economic development. Key issues considered inlcuded:
* Existing and proposed regulatory mechanisms capable of regulating financial capital, fostering productive investment and promoting sustainable 'people-centred' development;
* National, regional and international financial institutions and their programs;
* proposals for new mechanisms and institutions, or reforms to those already in existence, in order to increase their accountability and democracy.
* A platform for joint action defining common objectives and demands, and outlining concrete proposals for economic reform.