“Sri Lanka needs a strong public distribution system, wealth tax and universal welfare measures”

In the second part of an interview with Peoples Dispatch, Ahilan Kadirgamar analyzes the economic crisis faced by Sri Lanka and talks about the steps that need to be taken urgently

Peoples Dispatch | June 18, 2022

In the second part of an interview with Peoples Dispatch, Ahilan Kadirgamar, senior lecturer at the University of Jaffna, details the economic crisis that has engulfed Sri Lanka. He explains why shortages of essentials have continued over the months, and the inability of the government to tackle it.

He also talks about how Sri Lanka has already begun to adopt IMF policies before even signing an agreement and how this is affecting the country. He lists out the steps that need to be taken urgently to protect livelihoods and ensure the future of the next generation.

Watch the first part of the interview on the political crisis here:

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A new pandemic has struck the world: Food inflation

Food prices are increasing at an unprecedented rate worldwide, triggered by 2 years of COVID-19 pandemic-induced disruption and now the Russia-Ukraine war

Richard Mahapatra

Down To Earth | April 19, 2022

This story was updated April 28, 2022 to correct conversion of US dollar to Indian rupees. 

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic was pushed off global front pages last fortnight by food inflation. Food prices have leaped 75 per cent since mid-2020, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) assessed.

In India, rural consumer food price has doubled in the year through March 2022, according to the All India Consumer Price Index (CPI) by the National Statistical Office (released April 12). At 13 per cent, the country’s annual wholesale inflation was at the highest in a decade. Food and fuel prices played a major role.

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The Road Will Be Long And Bumpy: WEF On Post-pandemic Recovery

Countercurrents | January 12, 2022

The World Economic Forum (WEF) warns: The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic may take years to reign in. The WEF has also sheds light on major concerns regarding the future from the globe’s economic elite.

“Covid-19 and its economic and societal consequences continue to pose a critical threat to the world. Vaccine inequality and a resultant uneven economic recovery risk compounding social fractures and geopolitical tensions,” said the new Global Risks Report released by the WEF on Tuesday states.

The report is based on opinions of nearly 1,000 global risk experts and leaders from business, civil services, government, academic, and other spheres.

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IMF Downgrades its Growth Forecast for Asia, says Covid Still ‘Ravaging’ the Region

Countercurrents | October 25, 2021

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday downgraded its 2021 economic growth forecast for Asia after the Covid-19 delta variant caused a spike in cases in parts of the region.

The IMF said it expects Asia’s economy to grow by 6.5% in 2021, compared with its April forecast for a 7.6% expansion.

“The global COVID-19 pandemic is still ravaging the region,” the fund said in its Regional Economic Outlook report for Asia and the Pacific.

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GLOBAL ECONOMY 

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“Global carbon emissions are set to jump by 1.5 billion tonnes this year. This is a dire warning that the economic recovery from the Covid crisis is currently anything but sustainable for our climate,” said Dr Fatih Birol, International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director.

Global Energy Review, the new IEA report, sees global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rising by 1.5 billion tonnes in 2021, driven by a strong rebound in demand for coal in electricity generation. The CO2 emissions’ surge by 1.5 billion tonnes in 2021 is the second-largest increase in history, which reverses most of last year’s decline caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This would be the biggest annual rise in emissions since 2010, during the carbon-intensive recovery from the global financial crisis.

The IEA’s Global Energy Review 2021 estimates that CO2 emissions will increase by almost 5% this year to 33 billion tonnes, based on the latest national data from around the world as well as real-time analysis of economic growth trends and new energy projects that are set to come online.Read More »

ECONOMIC COST OF THE COVID PANDEMIC 

COVID-COST: Over $13 TRILLION spent to combat the pandemic

A Journal of People report

covid economic cost

Global leaders have committed trillions of dollars to battle the Covid-19/coronavirus pandemic and support the global economy, Japanese business newspaper Nikkei reported in December, citing its experts.

According to estimates, the total amount up to December has exceeded $13 trillion across the world. It includes the $900 billion stimulus package, which was passed by the U.S. Congress this week. Read More »

ECONOMY 

Scarce Sand’s Soaring Demand

A Journal of People report

sand

Sand, the world’s most consumed raw material after water and an essential ingredient to people’s everyday lives, is slipping through human fingers, warn scientists warn.

Sand may become a scarce resource due to high demand, they say.

“We just think that sand is everywhere. We never thought we would run out of sand, but it is starting in some places,” a climate scientist with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Pascal Peduzzi said during a webinar hosted by the Chatham House think tank.Read More »

CRISIS IN WORLD ECONOMY

Chart: World Economy to Trail Pre-Pandemic Trajectory for Years

Felix Richter

The Wire | December 11, 2021

The World Bank released its latest Global Economic Prospects report this week, providing us with an updated look at the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on the world economy. Striking a cautious tone, the report finds that global economic output will likely remain below its pre-pandemic trend for a protracted period, warning that the pandemic “has exacerbated the risks associated with a decade-long wave of global debt accumulation”.

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ECONOMICS

What’s Wrong With Economics?

Frank Stilwell

Progress in Political Economy | December 18, 2017

Failure to anticipate the global financial crash that began a decade ago was expected to precipitate embarrassment, if not a major crisis, for the economics profession. Even the Queen of England publicly asked why economists had got it so wrong! Ten years on, the storm has evidently been weathered without fundamental change to mainstream thought and practices. Public attitudes to the economics profession exhibit more scepticism but, for the economists themelves, it is pretty much business as usual.Read More »

WORLD ECONOMY

Deutsche Bank Money Laundering Scandal Could Create Greatest Economic Crisis in History

Raul Diego

MintPress News | September 21, 2020

Deutsche Bank Feature photo

Deutsche Bank, along with several of the world’s biggest commercial banks, are embroiled in a global money laundering scandal that spans over two decades, as documents leaked to BuzzFeed show the movement of $2 Trillion in illicit cash through the Western banking establishment.

The cache of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) detailing years of potentially illegal banking transactions were shared with 108 news organizations in 88 countries, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). These records are a requirement for any financial institution that engages in dollar-denominated transactions anywhere in the world and are filed with the Treasury Department’s intelligence unit, the Financial Crimes and Enforcement Network or FinCEN.Read More »