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Finance and debt

A climate debt is owed. It is owed by the richest countries, whose carbon emissions—through centuries of industrialisation made possible by colonial extraction—have been the principal cause of the climate crisis. Countries in the Global South, which are the least responsible for carbon emissions and the climate...
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a “tragic reversal” in development and pushed debt in poor countries to record levels, the head of the World Bank has said. David Malpass, the bank’s president, warned the virus had widened the gap between rich and poor nations, setting back progress by years and, in the case of some...
The latest Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2021 report argues that it's time to overcome contradictions and hypocrisy in the COVID-19 crisis. Published by Social Watch et al. Policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis have greatly exacerbated national and global inequalities....
More than 100 countries face cuts to public spending on health, education and social protection as the Covid-19 pandemic compounds already high levels of debt, a new report says. The International Monetary Fund believes that 35 to 40 countries are “debt distressed” – defined as when a country is experiencing...
A new report from the United Nations highlights divergent economic recoveries between nations and throws fresh urgency behind warnings that richer nations are not doing enough to help poorer countries from falling further behind as the world recovers from COVID-19 disruptions. “It’s really frustrating to see how...
Outrageous profits have been made by the already extremely rich during the pandemic. They need to show shared sacrifice and solidarity by rallying behind the rest of the world in this fight, writes Anthony Kamande for equalshope.org 2020 was a tumultuous year as the world economy experienced an unprecedented...
A new briefing paper by Oxfam shows that the International Monetary Fund is systematically encouraging countries to adopt austerity measures once the pandemic subsides, risking a severe spike in already increased inequality levels. Overview The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a huge blow to...
A new global study sounds an alert of an emerging austerity shock: most governments are imposing budget cuts, precisely at a time when their citizens and economies are in greater need of public support. By the Initiative for Policy Dialogue et al. This paper warns of an emerging post-pandemic fiscal...
How the G7 continues to stand in the way of a more democratic international order - by Nick Dearden for the New Internationalist. Earlier this year, South Africa’s delegate to the World Trade Organization made an eloquent plea to rich countries to stop blocking a proposal which would see patents on Covid-19 vaccines...
The world’s richest countries have finally agreed in principle to the idea of a global minimum corporate tax rate—a step that could signal a conclusion to a debate that has been raging for nearly a decade. However, there’s a problem: According to tax justice campaigners, the agreed upon 15% minimum is too minimal,...
G7 negotiations for a global minimum corporate tax rate offers the opportunity for a transformational shift in responses to the pandemic, explains Alex Cobham of the Tax Justice Network. When the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, welcomes the US treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, to the meeting of G7 finance ministersin...
Large corporations, rather than ordinary people, have been the main beneficiaries of Covid bailout funds in many lower-income countries, writes Luke Holland for the Tax Justice Network. Despite the rhetoric of “building back better” that has surrounded responses to the economic fallout of the pandemic, a new report...
The harms to human dignity caused by over-indebtedness—whether individual or public—are a consequence of unjust policies which violate human rights. Protecting rights must be a core principle of debt justice. By Allison Corkery, Ignacio Saiz, and Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky for the Progressive International’s Debt Justice...
It’s not often that you can celebrate an outright, global triumph for the advocacy efforts of a movement. But for tax justice, this is one of those days, writes Alex Cobham for the Tax Justice Network. The high level UN panel report launched this week by a group of heads of state and ministers from around the world,...
Every year, US$88.6 billion leaves Africa in the form of illicit capital flight according to the 2020 report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), entitled Tackling Illicit Financial Flows for Sustainable Development in Africa. Africa is affected more than all other continents, making it...