Headline October 13, 2019/ '' 'WOBBLE? GOBBLING WORLD!' ''


WORLD!' ''

ECONOMIST PROFESSOR JEFFREY SACHS has called on countries to save the multilateral global trading system which he said was facing deliberate attacks by Washington as part of US President Donald Trump's ''fantasy world''.

''The trading system is under stress right now for overwhelming reason, and that is my country, the United States,'' Professor Sachs told the opening of a large conference at the World Trade Organization in Geneva on Tuesday.

''The problem is that we have the largest economy in the world that [is acting] in a very unstable manner,'' he said speaking before around 1,000 people, including numerous decision makers and diplomats.

He maintained that Washington's escalating trade war with China was linked to ''the challenge that China's rise pose to the American psyche, especially for the foreign policy establishment.''

''We're seeing a deliberate attempt to break up the trading system in a very misguided way because of American foreign policy delusions,'' lamented Sachs, who heads the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University.

The world's two biggest economies have been embroiled in a bruising year-and-a-half-long trade war.

'The world is suffering a synchronised slowdown : IMF chief'

WASHINGTON : IMF managing Director Kristalina Georgieva spoke about the key issues to be addressed at the upcoming IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings.

To protect against a sharp global slowdown, she called on countries with funds available to deploy their ''fiscal firepower''.

While some governments are burdened with high debt levels, ''in places such as Germany, the Netherlands and South Korea, an increase in spending - especially in infrastructure and R&D - will help boost demand and growth potential,'' Georgieva said.

Many economies have been relying on central bank and low interest rates to support economic expansion be she warned that keeping rates low for too long can cause investors to engage in risky behavior.

The IMF estimates that if there were a major economic downturn, ''corporate debt at risk of default would rise to $19 trillion, or nearly 40% of the total debt in eight major economies,'' she said.

''This is above the levels seen during the financial crisis,'' Georgieva, who this month took over leadership at the IMF from Christine Lagarde amid rising concern about the world economy, called on global leaders ''to work together, now, and find a lasting solution on trade.''

That includes resolving legitimate concerns over protection of proprietary technology, an issue at the center of Washington's dispute with Beijing.

But she also said policymakers for too long have ignored the people harmed by globalization, which tends to be good for ''the educated, urban, younger people.'' The key, she said is to recognize that ''inequalities are a drag on multilateralism and drag on growth.

Raising Carbon Taxes : Meanwhile, Georgieva said addressing the climate change crisis will require a change in national tax systems that includes a big ramp-up in levies on carbon emissions.

''It is a crisis where no one is immune and everyone has a responsibility to act,'' she said. ''Limiting global warming to a safe level requires a significantly higher carbon price,'' she said.

But she added that ''the key here is to change tax systems, not simply add a new tax.'' At the current average carbon price of $2 a ton, there is little incentive to make a transition to a new forms of energy.

These new tax revenues could be used to mitigate damage and ''also support investments in the clean energy infrastructure that will help the planet heal,'' she said.

With respectful dedication to Grandparents, Parents, Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

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