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4,6 von 5 Sternen
Globalization and Its Discontents
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am 30. August 2017
Liest sich sehr gut und ist wirklich lehrreich empfehle ich jeden der si h mit der Golbalsierung auseinandersetzt. ACHTUNG Sprache ist auf englisch
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am 13. Februar 2018
A must read for all who are in despair looking at populist politics today and feel confused and bewildered as well as furious.
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am 26. Dezember 2015
What clear thinking-shows the other side of globalisation.Why IMF and others do not work but create havoc in nations in need!
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am 8. März 2003
It is always better to hear things from the horse's mouth. Eminent economist (Nobel Prize Winner no less) Joseph Stiglitz has been directly involved with some of the most serious financial crises in recent times. Not limited to academia and economic theory he served in high profile policy positions including as senior VP and chief economist in the World Bank. For me, it's also important that he spent extensive time with people in the affected countries. The description of modern international economic management: "from one's luxury hotel, one can callously impose policies about which one would think twice if one knew the people whose life one was destroying..." (p. 24) does not apply to him. His case studies provide the backdrop for his analysis of globalization as well as concrete evidence for some of his critical contentions. This is not a dry economics book; it is a captivating read that offers a very accessible examination of global economic and financial systems.
To position Stiglitz up-front: he is not against globalization - in his estimation it is quality-neutral as a conception and it is here to stay. The aim of his study is to show what lessons need to be learned and applied to make globalization live up to its potential for the majority of the world's populations. The red thread of the book is the examination of the primarily negative impact that globalization has had on many developing countries and the two billion or so poor who live on less than $2/per day. His reasoning why this has been the case and what is to be done to bring about positive change makes this book an important resource for the critics and the proponents of globalization alike.
Due to its vital role in global economics today, he focuses his criticism on the IMF, fundamentally disagreeing with major policies of the Fund as applied by its senior representatives. But GLOBALIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS is much more than a personal rebuke of his former colleagues and associates. Anybody who has worked in and with developing countries, local policy makers and civil societies, will find themselves in tune with many of Stiglitz' salient points. Several times he comments on new strategies being tried out on "powerless" countries like Ecuador and Romania, too weak to resist the IMF and resulting in the experiment's highly negative consequences for the countries. (p. 203) The East Asia crisis (1997 onwards) features prominently in Stiglitz' account. What went wrong and why didn't the prescribed (IMF) medicines bring the ailing economies back to health? Other major examples are the 'economies in transition' - in particular Russia and the former Soviet Bloc countries.
In a summary one cannot do justice to the wealth of information contained in GLOBALIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS. Stiglitz' analysis follows several major themes. At the core of his arguments stand the dealings of the powerful "Washington Consensus" - the combined economic and financial force of IMF, World Bank and the US Treasury deciding on the "right" policies for developing countries. (p. 16) One of his fundamental criticisms of the IMF is that it is no longer transparent in the pursuit of its objectives and that it moved away from its original mandate: "The IMF was founded on the belief that there was a need for collective action at the global level for economic stability." However over time, the Fund has taken to "champion market supremacy with ideological fervour" (p. 12). The IMF was designed to complement the World Bank, whose mandate was "reconstruction and development" following World War II, now the major international agency for the eradication of poverty. By the 1980s the Fund and the World Bank had become increasingly intertwined with each broadening their range of influence. As a result, while the IMF "does not claim expertise in development - yet it does not hesitate to weigh in". (p. 34). Within the Fund's primary focus for macro-economics, Stiglitz argues, "market fundamentalism" has been the economic philosophy of choice with the result that financial institutions and international lenders have usually been the primary winners from each of the major financial crises. Yet, he stresses that the IMF policies are "not conspiracy more a reflection of interest & ideology of western financial institutions". (p. 130)
Another criticism voiced throughout the book is that the IMF prescribed economic remedies tend to be identical whatever the economic and financial crisis encountered: one size fits all. There is hardly any choice for a government in crisis. This approach, combined with the admitted lack of knowledge of the broader development context, can in some cases plunge the country into further recession rather than stimulate recovery. High unemployment in countries without an adequate social safety net is habitually a harmful side effect of the austerity measures imposed on the government by the IMF. Another victim of these policies is the environment. The wider social and political context of a country or region is often overlooked, Stiglitz contends, resulting in social unrest and worse: IMF-inspired riots. (p.77) Recession and civil strife further set back the development agenda and Stiglitz refers to numerous World Bank studies that confirm his assertions.
Stiglitz describes alternative approaches, presenting the evidence based on his own vast experience. His proposals can be subsumed under the term "balance". For example, any privatization of industry and markets should be gradual and sequenced, and must be balanced with strong institutional and legal structures. Rather than using "shock therapy" and forcing rapid privatization of capital markets, the "gradualist" approach ensures better results in the short and longer term (Russia vs. Poland). In the same vein he recognizes the need for balance between market forces and governmental interventions. He reminds the reader that the advanced industrialized economies all went through growth periods when government regulated the markets and capital flows. He asks that developing countries be given a real and honest chance to sit in the driver's seat when developing locally adapted international economic models. (review: Friederike Knabe Ottawa Canada)
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VINE-PRODUKTTESTERam 14. Oktober 2004
Auf sehr eindrucksvolle und leicht verständliche Weise beschreibt Stiglitz vor allem die Tätigkeiten und Programme der internationalen Finanzinstitutionen IMF und Weltbank. Als ehemaliger Mitarbeiter der Weltbank hatte er natürlich guten Einblick in die sonst so undurchschaubaren Organisationen. Er lässt dabei kaum ein gutes Haar an den beiden und zeigt Fehler während der Asienkrise und der Transformation in Russland auf. Dabei wirkt die Darstellung häufig doch recht einseitig - und er selber hätte natürlich alles besser gemacht.
In der zweiten Hälfte lässt das Buch allerdings eindeutig nach und es kommt zu häufigen Wiederholungen. Teilweise geht der klare Aufbau verloren und es ist keine Struktur mehr erkennbar. So entstand für mich der Eindruck, dieser zweite Teil sei mit sehr viel Druck und Eile hingeschrieben worden.
Die abschliessenden Visionen zu einer Verbesserung des Globalisierungsprozesses bieten leider nichts Neues. Dennoch bietet das Buch einen sehr interessanten Einblick in jüngste wirtschaftliche Krisen und in die Irrungen und Wirrungen der Globalisierung.
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am 8. Januar 2007
In diesem Buch geht es darum, wie positiv die Globalisierung für die Menschen sein könnte und warum der Internationale Währungsfonds (IWF) und z. T. die Weltbank dafür verantwortlich sind, dass dies nicht der Fall ist.

An Hand vieler Beispiele (Ostasienkrise, Lateinamerika, Russland / Ostblock) wird gezeigt, dass der IWF die Situation falsch erkannt und die falschen Maßnahmen ergriffen hat. Diese hätten in Ostasien zur Ausbreitung der Krise geführt bzw. diese verschlimmert oder erst zum Ausbruch gebracht. In Russland habe der IWF die chaotische Privatisierung mit zu verantworten.

Diese Beispiele benutzt der Autor, um in den Maßnahmen des IWF ein Muster zu finden. Demnach sieht der IWF die Lösung immer in einer schnellen Einführung der Marktwirtschaft und in der Privatisierung angeschlagener Unternehmen. Der Autor zeigt, dass dies nicht funktionieren kann; man müsse die Maßnahmen in der richtigen Reihenfolge durchführen. So nütze die Öffnung des Kapitalmarktes für ausländisches Kapital nichts, wenn es keine funktionierende Börsen- und Bankenaufsicht gebe. Dies sei der Auslöser für die Ostasienkrise gewesen. Die Privatisierung der russischen Staatsunternehmen sei ähnlich chaotisch verlaufen, da ein Verkauf von Monopolen ohne Kartellaufsicht eben Missbrauch nach sich ziehe. Das vom IWF zur Verfügung gestellte Geld sei sofort auf privaten Konten im Ausland verschwunden.

Der Autor fordert eine Reform des IWF, der Weltbank und der Welthandelsorganisation WTO. Die Organisationen müssten transparenter werden, die Vetorechte der USA abgeschafft werden und eine Kontrolle durch alle Regierungen (auch die der Schuldnerländer) eingeführt werden. Die WTO solle darauf hin wirken, dass die Industrieländer Zollbarrieren gegen die Entwicklungsländer sowie u. a. ihre Agrarsubventionen abbauen, um so einen fairen Welthandel zu gewährleisten.

Der IWF muss sich nach Ansicht des Autors auf seine Kernaufgabe der "Makrostabilisierung" beschränken. Das bedeutet, dass er sich um die Eindämmung von Währungskrisen und die Bekämpfung von Rezessionen kümmern soll, um auf diese Weise eine stabile Weltwirtschaft zu gewährleisten. Die Aufgabe der "Makrostabilisierung" sei dem IWF von seinem Gründer Lord Keynes aufgegeben worden und die keynesianische Konjunkturpolitik deshalb die einzige Lösung. Das bedeutet, der IWF muss den Ländern Geld geben, damit sie Rezessionen mit Nachfragepolitik bekämpfen können.

Um eine erfolgreiche "Makrostabilisierung" durchführen zu können, benötigt man dringend eine vernünftige Theorie der Konjunkturschwankungen. Die Bemerkungen des Autors werfen in diesem Zusammenhang eine Reihe von Problemen auf:

- Auf- und Abschwünge sind von Anfang an Bestandteil des Kapitalismus: Ludwig von Mises hat bereits 1912 in seiner "Theorie des Geldes und der Umlaufmittel" gezeigt, dass Konjunkturschwankungen durch die Zentralbanken ausgelöst werden. Sie sind also nicht dem Kapitalismus anzulasten, sondern Staatsversagen.

- Die Weltwirtschaftskrise war eine Krise des Kapitalismus: Die Weltwirtschaftskrise wurde durch die amerikanische Zentralbank FED ausgelöst (siehe Griffin: "Die Kreatur von Jekyll Island"); danach haben sich FED und US-Regierung gegenseitig darin überboten, die Krise zu vertiefen und zu verlängern. Keynes' Empfehlungen wurden im "New Deal" z. T. umgesetzt; das führte zu mehr als 10 Jahren Rezession.

Die Nachfragepolitik wurde 1931 in Mises' Vortrag "Über die Ursachen der Wirtschaftskrise" eindeutig widerlegt. Leider wurde sie trotzdem 1936 von Lord Keynes wieder belebt. Auch nach dessen erneuter Beerdigung durch Milton Friedman gibt es heute noch Leute, die an diesen Untoten glauben.

Das Buch bietet somit einen guten Einblick in die Arbeitsweise des IWF und zeigt auf, wie man eine Marktwirtschaft richtig einführt. Eine korrekte Grundlage für eine "Makrostabilisierung" der Weltwirtschaft (falls das überhaupt sinnvoll ist) kann das Buch nicht bieten, weil es eine seit 76 Jahren offiziell widerlegte Konjunkturtheorie benutzt. (Wie kann eine von Zentralbanken ausgelöste Konjunkturkrise dadurch beendet werden, dass diese eine Weltzentralbank um Unterstützung bitten?)

Wegen seiner Schwächen kann ich dem Buch nur drei Sterne geben.
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am 14. Oktober 2006
A good book to learn in detail about some of the things that economically went wrong the 90's.

It is a book that can largely be understood by the total economy lay(wo)man like I, although I had to do a good deal of looking up terms as I worked through the book.

It is a little funny that he starts off explaining very simple economic terms like "transparency" or "assymetries of information" in the preface, but then proceeds leaving the majority of economic terminology he uses unexplained (fiscal and monetary policies, aggregate supply and demand, etc. pp.).

I skipped some parts that went into too much detail than was desirable to know for someone like me, especially since everything is written from his "skewed", personal viewpoint, not lending any weight to what a contrary viewpoint might have voiced -I am not criticising him for this, but I feel that as an individual reading up on these issues I'd have the responsibilty to balance my own sources of information in such a way as to read about the different sides.

Stiglitz uses a language that other economists "can understand" -that is to say he doesn't for example present poverty reduction or social stability as ends in and of themselves -which for the majority of his audience they are- but formulates it in a way as to make clear that riots are bad for the investment climate and that too big inequality causes such riots. It is also written very diplomatically -never accusing the IMF or the U.S. treasury directly of manipulating other countries in favour of special interests, just stating that making decisions behind closed doors "can invite suspicion", for example.

He drives many of the points he makes home several times, which is good if you are trying to store new information long-term in the back of your mind. But it can be slightly tedious reading the book now, some years after it first has been published, because many of us picking it up will already be familiar with the basic concepts, since they have become shared knowledge and you'll have read about it in leaflets, other books, or heard about it in workshops or discussions, etc.
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am 19. Dezember 2003
This is a very readable book by one of the authors of 'asymmetric information'. The book describes the disastrous consequences of the neo-classical equilibrium rules imposed on the world by the World Bank and IMF, and their reenforcement by the US Treasury and the EU. The book is written in measured, nonideological style by a theorist and practitioneer who understands that the standard model is wrong. That theory, neo-classical equilibrium theory or 'general equilibrium theory', teaches that unregulated free markets are optimal, that they provide the highest efficiency and the best of all possible worlds. When there is a problem then the standard advice (since Friedman-Reagan-thatcher) is to deregulate (even public water supplies are now sold to global industries). But to the contrary, there is not one whit of hard empirical evidence that that viewpoint holds a drop of water. The recent empirical evidence is instead that financial markets in particular, and highly liquid markets in general, are dynamically unstable, do not admit equilibrium of any kind: Adam Smith's regulating Invisible Hand does not exist in liquid markets.
Stiglitz provides us with one practical example after the other of the instability of deregulated markets. That is the value of this book. The author could have begun better by explaining to us just who/what are the supra-national, bureaucratic powers known as the IMF, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, how are they financed and who holds holds the power. This would have been useful, especially as Americans are now told that their democratically-elected (excepting the current occupant) government should adhere to the nondemocratically-imposed rules of the WTO. And ithe EU, the Agiculture Minister announces to us that EU agriculture policies are in violation of IMF rules. Stiglitz might also have explained to us what exactly is the EU, aside from being just one more globalizing, nondemocratic organization. Most Europeans, safe to say, haven't the faintest idea exactly what is the EU, and apparently the bureaucrats who run it want to keep it exactly that way.
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