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
More than 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by violent conflict. The World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security, and Developmentexamines the changing nature of violence in the 21st century, and underlines the negative impact of repeated cycles of violence on a country or region’s development prospects. Preventing violence and building peaceful states that respond to the aspirations of their citizens requires strong leadership and concerted national and international efforts. The Report is based on new research, case studies and extensive consultations with leaders and development practitioners throughout the world.Following are download options for the World Development Report 2011. To read these PDF files, you need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader
Chapter 1, Repeated violence threatens development, explores the challenge: repeated cycles of organized criminal violence and civil conflict that threaten development locally and regionally and are responsible for much of the global deficit in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. Download chapter one.
Chapter 2, Vulnerability to violence, reviews the combination of internal and external stresses and institutional factors that lead to violence. It argues that capable, accountable, and legitimate institutions are the common “missing factor” explaining why some societies are more resilient to violence than others. Without attention to institutional transformation, countries are susceptible to a vicious cycle of repeated violence. Download chapter two.
Part II: Lessons from National and International Reponses
Chapter 3, From violence to resilience: Restoring confidence and transforming institutions, presents the WDR framework, or “virtuous cycle.” It compiles research and case study experience to show how countries have successfully moved away from fragility and violence: by mobilizing coalitions in support of citizen security, justice, and jobs to restore confidence in the short term and by transforming national institutions over time. This is a repeated process that seizes multiple transition moments and builds cumulative progress. It takes a generation. Download chapter three.
Chapter 4, Restoring confidence: Moving away from the brink, reviews lessons from national experience in restoring confidence by mobilizing ‘inclusive-enough’ coalitions of stakeholders and by delivering results. Collaborative coalitions often combine government and nongovernmental leadership to build national support for change and signal an irreversible break with the past. Restoring confidence in situations of low trust means delivering some fast results, since government announcements of change will not be credible without tangible action. Download chapter four.
Chapter 5, Transforming institutions to deliver security, justice, and jobs, reviews national experience in prioritizing foundational reforms that provide citizen security, justice, and jobs—and stem the illegal financing of armed groups. In moving forward institutional transformation in complex conflict settings, case studies emphasize that perfection should not be the enemy of progress—pragmatic, “best-fit” approaches should be used to address immediate challenges. Download chapter five.
Chapter 6, International support to building confidence and transforming institutions, turns to lessons from international support to national processes. While registering some notable successes, it argues that international interventions are often fragmented, slow to enter, quick to exit, reliant on international technical assistance, and delivered through parallel systems. The chapter considers why international action has been slow to change. International actors have to respond to their own domestic pressures to avoid risk and deliver fast results. Different parts of the international system—middle-income versus OECD actors, for example—face different domestic pressures, undermining cohesive support. Download chapter six.
Chapter 7, International action to mitigate external stresses, provides lessons from international action to combat external security, economic, and resource stresses that increase conflict risk. The stresses range from trafficking in drugs and natural resources to food insecurity and other economic shocks. The chapter also addresses lessons from regional and cross-border initiatives to manage these threats. Download chapter seven.
Part III: Practical Options and Recommendation
Chapter 8, Practical country directions and options, provides practical options for national and international reformers to take advantage of multiple transition opportunities, restore confidence, and transform institutions in countries facing a range of institutional challenges, stresses, and forms of violence. Download chapter eight.
Chapter 9, New directions for international support, identifies four tracks for international action. First, to invest in prevention through citizen security, justice and jobs. Second, internal agency reforms to provide faster assistance for confidence-building and longer term institutional engagement. Third, acting at the regional level on external stresses. Fourth, marshalling the knowledge and resources of low, middle, and high-income countries. Download chapter nine.
Phi Beta Iota: Failed States jumped from roughly 25 to over 175 during Bush-Cheney I and II. Obama-Biden have done nothing to reverse this trend. This report from the World Bank avoids the obvious: corruption across all governments and corporations–lacking is a global grid that provides public intelligence in the public interest.