Listen to what UN Assistant Secretary-General K S Jomo, an economist from Malaysia, has to say about the perils of financial liberalisation, as reported in theSun:
A bigger crisis awaits Malaysia if we continue on the path of financial liberalisation and fail to learn the right lessons from the last economic downturn in the late 1990s, warns an economist.
Prof Jomo Kwame Sundaram, who is the assistant secretary general for Economic Development in the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said financial liberalisation, as it showed in the 1997-98 Asian crisis, is actually the “bleeding of resources from poor to rich countries” and does not lead to development.
Jomo, who was giving a public lecture titled When Will We Ever Learn? last Wednesday, explained that the last financial meltdown not only prompted some rethinking of how to “manage” financial crises but also stimulated some serious rethinking about the character of the development model in Asia.
Lessons were supposed to have been learnt and new policy and institutional frameworks were put into place to avoid another crisis, he said….
He also had harsh words about recent attempts to liberalise the local financial market, saying that it has been proven that this does not bring about development.
Instead, Jomo said, it bled out the capital resources of Third World countries.
“Half of the capital inflows in the year 2007 went to the US due to financial liberalisation,” he said, adding that it was imperative for Malaysia to start planning the real economy and not look to the US model.
“There is an urgent need for much more original and creative development policy thinking in the region,” he said, and warned that if we continue on this path (of financial liberalisation), “Malaysia’s development status target of 2020 would be delayed by a decade.”
Meanwhile, the quietness and tranquility of the century old mining town of Papan on the outskirts of Ipoh has suddenly become punctuated with the sounds of activity as a film crew prepares to shoot on location, the story of Sybil Kartigasu, the town’s very own World War II heroine, reports the Ipoh Echo in a story here.