Sleepwalking into the next financial crisis – on 26 September will world leaders rise to the challenge of preventing it?
Join our campaign to call on world leaders to stop another devastating financial crash.
A decade on from the 2008 global financial crisis, the world economy is hurtling towards a re-run of the destruction caused by greedy bankers, lax regulations and rocketing debt. Global debt is now well above pre-2008 levels.
And for the world’s low- and middle-income countries, who largely escaped the worst impacts of the 2008 crisis, the situation is even more bleak. 47% of low-income countries are in debt distress, or high risk of ending up in debt distress, according to the IMF. And across the Global South, civil society experts now estimate 122 countries are now critically in debt.
In short, the casino capitalism which triggered the last crisis, remains substantially unchanged.
United Nations financing for development meeting
This September, a unique meeting will take place at the United Nations in New York, at the United Nations, which should be used by world leaders to champion reform initiatives that could stop the next financial crisis before it’s too late.
Instead, this opportunity to use the only, global and democratic forum available to help steer our financial system to a safer place is being squandered. Rich nations still want to keep power over global financial decision-making in undemocratic, secretive bodies like the G7 instead.
As the world hurtles towards another devastating crash, our countries’ leaders have their heads in the sand – just like they refused to acknowledge the climate crisis for years until it was almost too late. It’s time to start using the United Nations to avert the perfect storm facing our planet: the climate crisis and another global financial crash.
Call for action
Ahead of the High Level Dialogue on Financing for Development at the UN on 26 September 2019, we call on world leaders to:
1. Stop using public money to prop up private finance – and profits.
Other bodies, like the World Bank continue their drive for public money to be used to back Public-Private Partnerships. These guarantee profits for investors whilst leaving the risk with us, the people. As the democratic global governance body, the UN must take a strong line against using much-needed public money to line private pockets.
2. Stop the bleeding of money from poor countries to rich.
The aid rich countries give to poor countries is a drop in the ocean compared to the amount those countries lose in unfair debt repayments and tax avoidance. More developing countries are facing debt crises, as they’ve been forced to borrow to raise funds, in the face of inadequate domestic tax revenue and development aid. Many are channelling more public resources to pay off lenders than into financing public services and combatting climate change.
- World leaders must use the UN meetings to push forward a sovereign debt workout mechanism at the UN to deal with debt crises. Without it, the new debt emergency will only be hastened by the climate emergency.
- World leaders must use a UN Tax Commission to deal with corporate tax avoidance so countries can start building their economies and societies fairly.
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Find out more
Read our report released to coincide with the UN General Assembly: Spotlight on financial justice: understanding global inequalities to overcome financial injustice