The Global Economy – The Facts
RIDING THE WHIRLPOOL
More than $1.5 trillion changes hands daily on global currency markets.
. The annual global trade in merchandise and services was $6.5 billion in 1998, the equivalent of just 4.3 days of trading on foreign exchange (forex) markets. . Actual foreign exchange reserves in the hands of all governments in the same year totalled $1.6 trillion or just over a day's trading on forex markets. . An estimated 95% of all forex deals are short-term speculation; more than 80% are completed in less than a week and 40% in less than two days. . The amount of private financial flows entering poor nations exploded from $44 billion in 1990 to $256 billion in 1997.4
Huge global corporations are becoming ever more powerful, eroding the regulatory powers of nation-states and riding roughshod over the rights of citizens to determine their own future.
CRASH AND BURN
The Asian financial meltdown had far-reaching human costs.^1^
Chris Stowers / Panos Pictures
. Indonesia - number of poor increased by 40 million people or 20% of the population. . Malaysia - 435 firms went bankrupt from July 1997 to March 1998. . Korea - Unemployment climbed to 1.5 million and average real wages fell by nearly 10%. . Thailand - An estimated 100,000 students have quit school as a result of higher school fees.