New Internationalist

More on the meltdown

walden bello

We’re all struggling day by day to make sense of the mayhem in the markets - neoconservative governments discovering the virtues of nationalization, speculators’ bubbles finally bursting, doom-mongers who have been predicting the collapse of capitalism for decades suddenly worrying about their own pensions and mortgages when it arrives…

As I said last week, when a crash like this happens, it’s worth listening first not to the people who have presided over and profited from the speculative boom but to those who have long been pointing to the cracks in the edifice.

Walden Bello has for more than a decade been one of the most reliable commentators on and campaigners against the uncontrolled forces of globalized free trade. You can reach his ‘Wall Street Meltdown Primer’ here. And for Walden’s most recent contribution to the NI, go to ‘Sand in the Wheels’.

Another increasingly outspoken critic of free-market fundamentalism - despite (or probably because of) his former role as Chief Economist at the World Bank - is Joseph Stiglitz. In Britain’s Guardian newspaper he welcomes the US Congress’s rejection of the $700-billion bail-out plan, saying it is ‘A sad day for Wall Street, but it may be a glorious day for democracy.’ He calls for a new plan ‘that assures US taxpayers the costs will be borne by those who created the problem’ (click here for the full article). I interviewed Stiglitz for the NI in 2004, when he was equally trenchant about the blinkered ideologues in charge at the IMF - The hospital that makes you sicker.

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About the author

Chris Brazier a New Internationalist contributor

Once a writer for the rock music weekly Melody Maker (1977-80), Chris Brazier has been a co-editor of New Internationalist magazine since 1984. He has covered myriad subjects from masculinity to maternal mortality, Panafricanism to the paranormal, and has edited country issues on South Africa, Burkina Faso, Western Sahara, Bangladesh, Iran, China and Vietnam. He edits the country profile section of the magazine as well as its puzzle page. Since 2010 he has focused primarily on commissioning and editing New Internationalist’s books and other publications. He has also written regularly for UNICEF’s annual The State of the World’s Children report since 1997.

Chris is the author of Vietnam: The Price of Peace (Oxfam, 1992), The No-Nonsense Guide to World History (2001, 2006 & 2010) and Trigger Issues: Football (2007). He also compiled the New Internationalist anthologies Raging Against the Machine (2003) and Brief Histories of Almost Anything (2008).

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