Rocky Vega

The International Monetary Fund’s managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has pointed out that the global is economy is built upon a destabilizing and dangerous combination: emerging economies, where brisk growth has created two-tiered societies with rich and poor on hugely unequal footings, and developed nations, that are still wracked with high unemployment and have little relief in sight.

He suggests these imbalances are igniting the breed of deep-seated animosity that can lead to civil wars, especially in those countries with the largest wealth disparities and highest unemployment.

According to the Telegraph:

“‘It is not the recovery we wanted. It is a recovery beset by tensions and strain, which could even sow the seeds of the next crisis,’ he [Dominique Strauss-Kahn] said.

“‘Global unemployment remains at record highs, with widening income inequality adding to social strains,’ he said, citing turmoil in North Africa as a prelude to what may happen as 400m youths join the workforce over the next decade. ‘We could see rising social and political instability within nations – even war,’ he said.

“The IMF has published a paper entitled Inequality, Leverage and Crisis arguing that the extreme gap between rich and poor – with echoes of the US in the late 1920s – was an underlying cause of the Great Recession from 2008-2009. The paper, by the Fund’s modelling unit, warned of ‘disastrous consequences’ for the world economy unless workers regain their ‘bargaining power’ against rentiers. It suggests radical changes to the tax system and debt relief for workers.”

For the purposes of the IMF paper, the discussion focuses on how changes in income distribution can result in an abuse of leverage, and a build up to the kinds of crises witnessed in the 1920-1929 and 1983-2008 periods. However, the IMF’s more bottom-line warning seems to be that lower income groups, without bargaining power over income, are becoming more likely to respond with violence than with a traditional picketing. You can see more details in the Telegraph’s coverage of how the IMF is warning of civil wars as global inequalities worsen.

Best,

Rocky Vega,
The Daily Reckoning

Rocky Vega

Rocky Vega is publisher of Agora Financial International, where he advances the growth of Agora Financial publishing enterprises outside of the US. Previously, he was publisher of The Daily Reckoning, and founding publisher of both UrbanTurf and RFID Update -- which he ran from Brazil, Chile, and Puerto Rico -- as well as associate publisher of FierceFinance. Rocky has an honors MS from the Stockholm School of Economics and an honors BA from Harvard University, where he served on the board of directors for Let?s Go Publications, Harvard Student Agencies, and The Harvard Advocate.

  • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

    The IMF is very very ready ~
    to help Egypt for a slight profit.

Recent Articles

Maestro
6 Major Flaws in the Fed’s Economic Model

James Rickards

Use what analogy you will: a car, a clock, a chemistry experiment... the point remains that the Fed believes it can control the economy. Indeed the Fed will stop at nothing to realize the goals of its dual mandate" to maximize job growth and maintain price stability. But, as Jim Rickards expalins, that conceit always ends in disaster. Read on...


The Best Way to Play the Surge in Equity Crowdfunding

Matthew Milner

When it comes to life-changing tech investments, venture capital has been at the forefront of the investment landscape. But now, there’s a new kid on the block that’s threatening the “old way” of doing things: Equity Crowdfunding. What happens when these two fields meet? Matthew Milner explains...


How You’re Attracting Unwanted Government Attention

Mike Leahy

The NSA will tell you their surveillance programs protect you and the country from terrorists who seek to do you harm. But when you get past their talking points and prepackaged press statements, you'll find their search for enemies covers more people than you'd imagine. Mike Leahy explains...


The Surging Market Sector You’re Probably Ignoring

Greg Guenthner

If the back-and-forth action in the markets has you banging your head against the wall these days, maybe you're concentrating on the wrong stocks. While the market churns near its highs and investors continue to fret over the makings of a possible correction, Asian stocks listed on U.S. exchanges are catching fire. Greg Guenthner explains...


Bill Bonner
Why the Government Views You As Collateral Damage

Bill Bonner

The economist Milton Friedman didn't go far enough when he said, "Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it." In fact, as Bill Bonner explains, those same good intentions are often used as pavement on a road that leads to a rather ominous and fiery destination. Read on...