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The World System

The Problem of Financial Imbalances

19 October 2016

In addition to the weakness of self-equilibrating mechanisms within the global monetary system, there is an arguably even more serious problem with underlying financial, trade and debt imbalances. In the words of the BIS, “Historically high debt levels and signs of financial imbalances point to [read more]

Crony Capitalism

19 October 2016

Crony capitalism is a term used where corporations have corrupt relationships with government officials and politicians in order to obtain an undue advantage over competitors, or to take over public assets for nominal or unfair prices. It has been frequently used to describe the form of capitalism [read more]

Global Corporations and States

19 October 2016

Students of international affairs, familiar with the Westphalian system, have been taught to see states as the paramount and only significant actors in the world, this is, however, not the case. Corporations, who operate globally, and with few restrictions, are also major players, in many cases [read more]

Measuring Inequality

19 October 2016

One measure of inequality is the Gini index, according to the World Bank, this measures the extent to which the distribution of income (or, in some cases, consumption expenditure) among individuals or households within an economy deviates from a perfectly equal distribution. A Lorenz curve plots [read more]

Economic Imbalances

4 October 2016

The effects of serious domestic imbalances in large economies inevitably spill-over into the rest of the world. Pettis maintains that “Large persistent trade imbalances, …. are almost always caused by distortions in financial, industrial trade policies.”[1]  However, as with  Wile E [read more]

The impact in China and abroad of slowing growth

30 September 2016

By Michael Petts This blog entry is largely something I wrote a year ago about the impact of a Chinese rebalancing on the global economy, and except for this first paragraph nothing has been changed. The entry on my blog that had been posted a couple of weeks earlier was an attempt to explain why [read more]

After Bretton Woods: The Declining Influence of the US Dollar

10 January 2016

Nearly 60 years since it was agreed, the Bretton Woods Settlement is under pressure and the Dollar’s position in the global economy is changing. Bretton Woods arguably had two major flaws, the first was its failure to deal with unbalanced trade and capital flows and the second was the de facto [read more]

How Global Supply Chains now dominant cross-border trade

8 October 2015

Such are the complexities of global supply chains that the idea that any product, other than the most basic, is actually “Made in Germany”, or the United States, or in any particular country, is no longer true. Products produced in this way are said to use the global value chain (”GVC”). In [read more]
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