China’s rapid growth has reduced poverty and produced prosperity — as well as skyrocketing inequality, ecological catastrophe, and dangerous financial bubbles.
Desperate to clinch a new global trade deal, World Trade Organization chief Pascal Lamy is planning to convene a "mini-ministerial" meeting in the third week of July. The aim of the meeting is to come up with agreements to liberalize trade in agriculture, industry, and services. These sectors have been the focus of the so-called Doha Round of WTO negotiations that have dragged on since 2001.
For those following economic trends, the past 18 months are notable primarily for two reasons. First, the U.S. housing market, long seen as overvalued by alternative economists and even powerful economic institutions including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), finally went from boom to bust. Over the span of a few months, housing in some markets depreciated by as much as 30%, and some economists estimate that losses may ultimately reduce value by as much as 50% in some cities.
Skyrocketing oil prices, a falling dollar, and collapsing financial markets are the key ingredients in an economic brew that could end up in more than just an ordinary recession. The falling dollar and rising oil prices have been rattling the global economy for sometime. But it is the dramatic implosion of financial markets that is driving the financial elite to panic.