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Financing the Common Good

The United Nations has warned that “cascading and interlinked crises” are jeopardizing not just the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, but “humanity’s very survival.” Mitigating the threat requires a radical reform of international finance, based on a market-shaping paradigm that advances the common good.

LONDON – The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank recently held their annual spring meetings, which, according to the organizers, produced a “strong message of confidence and a willingness to cooperate.” But lofty rhetoric and good intentions will not be enough to create a truly inclusive and sustainable economy fit for the twenty-first century. For that, deep structural change is needed.

Some are calling for it. Mia Mottley, the prime minister of Barbados, advocates a “New Consensus” between wealthier and less wealthy countries. Similarly, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for a “Common Agenda” – a roadmap for global intergovernmental cooperation aimed at moving from “ideas to action.”

Reforming international finance and cooperation goes to the heart of how we “do capitalism.” If we are serious about the Common Agenda, then it needs to be complemented by a new economics of the common good.

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