Whatever is necessary for the economy

We’ve seen more interest in our Aid Guide since last month’s UN High Level meeting reviewed progress of the MDGs. Ban Ki-moon declared that the $16 billion of additional aid promised by rich countries “exceeded our most optimistic expectations”.

A fortnight later, we learned that a single country (the UK) had earmarked $35 billion to rescue a single Rotten Bank. Plus a similar sum for other banks of that ilk.

In the days that followed European countries and then the US fell over each other to pluck even greater lollipops from their bottomless exchequers. If developing countries had the power to impose a tiny tax on the aggregate of this largesse, the MDGs would be a done deal.

Politicians are going to hate these comparisons over coming years. But they dug themselves a hole to fill with debt-driven votes and they kept digging.

Anti-poverty campaigners must stay smart in mining this rich seam of dysfunctional values. And we must go deeper to deconstruct the primeval fear that drove governments to “do whatever is necessary” to prevent something terrible happening.

Was it the prospect of life without bank accounts? of barter transactions? of shaky title to our property? of dependence on our allotments?

Sounds rather like real life for a big chunk of the world’s population. So let’s include them in this brave new vision of doing whatever is necessary.

A nervous glance at my cheque book reminds me that my worldly goods lie with a subsidiary of the Rotten Bank. But OneWorld Guides have a reassuringly virtual presence…..

These fragments I have shored against my ruins….

Now who was it who wrote that line? In need of a clue?

He was a banker.


this article was first published by OneWorld UK