Financialization and the Neocolonial Model of credit-based exploitation leave immense human suffering in their wake when speculative credit bubbles inevitably implode.
Discussions of the global financial crisis tend to be bloodless accounts of policy and “growth.” This detachment masks the immense and totally needless human misery created by financial engineering. A correspondent with first-hand knowledge of the situation in Cyprus filed this account:
“RE: the Cyprus economic crisis, the politicians are unbowed by the chaos they caused, still behaving as they have always done, preaching populist platitudes, corrupt as ever, unapologetic. A poll showed that 99% of Cypriots believe their government is corrupt.Yesterday, the former president, Demetris Christofias, appeared before a tribunal investigating the causes of the economic collapse. He tried to force the tribunal to do what he told them, saying, “I am not just any witness, I was the President of the Republic for 5 years”. They told him where to get off and he stormed out.
Little hope for this country. Money leaving. Best talent leaving. Foreign investment in a planned energy hub has been hijacked by the politicians. Cyprus is returning back to what it always was: a tourist destination run by shopkeepers and farmers.Sad days. Most people feel betrayed by the politicians and big powers.”
This report highlights a key dynamic of speculative credit/banking bubbles: they require the complicity of central banks and the state. Speculative bubbles based solely on cash have very short lifespans, as the bubble bursts violently as soon as the gamblers’ cash has been sucked into the vortex.
WASHINGTON, April 10, 2012 – The World Bank today announced that it will implement a new Open Access policy for its research outputs and knowledge products, effective July 1, 2012. The new policy builds on recent efforts to increase access to information at the World Bank and to make its research as widely available as possible. As the first phase of this policy, the Bank launched today a new Open Knowledge Repository and adopted a set of Creative Commons copyright licenses.
The new Open Access policy, which will be rolled out in phases in the coming year, formalizes the Bank’s practice of making research and knowledge freely available online. Now anybody is free to use, re-use and redistribute most of the Bank’s knowledge products and research outputs for commercial or non-commercial purposes.
“Knowledge is power,”World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick said. “Making our knowledge widely and readily available will empower others to come up with solutions to the world’s toughest problems. Our new Open Access policy is the natural evolution for a World Bank that is opening up more and more.”
The policy will also apply to Bank research published with third party publishers including the institution’s two journals—World Bank Research Observer (WBRO) and World Bank Economic Review (WBER)—which are published by Oxford University Press, but in accordance with the terms of third party publisher agreements. The Bank will respect publishing embargoes, but expects the amount of time it takes for externally published Bank content to be included in its institutional repository to diminish over time.
The World Bank will be adopting an Open Access Policy as of July 1. In addition, the Bank recently launched the World Bank Open Knowledge Repository (OKR) and became the first major international organization to adopt a set of copyright licenses from Creative Commons. As a result, a wealth of Bank research and knowledge products are now freely available to anyone in the world for use, re-use, and sharing.
Why is this so significant?
How can open access contribute to the goal of eliminating poverty?
How does the new policy impact the Bank’s researchers and authors?
How will the OKR benefit users of Bank knowledge, in particular those in developing countries?
Join us in person at the World Bank or online for a lively conversation about these and other aspects of open access to research, and its potential for development progress.
Peter Suber Director of the Harvard Open Access Project and a leading voice in the open access movement
Cyril Muller Vice President for External Affairs at the World Bank
Michael Carroll American University law professor and founding board member of Creative Commons
Adam Wagstaff Research Manager of the World Bank’s Development Research Group