Global Economy

The Global Economy Program provides research, communications, and networking support to dynamic economic justice movements in the United States and around the world. Our goal is to speed the transition to an equitable and sustainable economy while reversing today’s extreme levels of economic and racial inequality and excessive corporate and Wall Street power. The program focuses its work on six inter-related areas:

Inequality and CEO Pay
The program collaborates with a broader IPS team to produce Inequality.org and a related weekly newsletter that highlights the latest data and the sharpest strategies to reverse extreme inequality in the United States and around the world. The program is also a leading resource on one key driver of inequality — runaway CEO pay. For more than two decades, our annual report series “Executive Excess” has drawn extensive media coverage to the issue of CEO pay and practical solutions. A newer report series, “A Tale of Two Retirements,” is the first to track the staggering gap in retirement benefits between wealthy CEOs and ordinary Americans.

Trade, Investment, and Mining
The program works with grassroots activists around the world to advance alternative international trade and investment policies that elevate environmental, human, and labor rights above narrow corporate interests. In recent years program staff have played a lead role in supporting a successful campaign in El Salvador to defend against global mining corporations’ attempts to steamroll local resistance to harmful extractives projects.

Black Workers Initiative
The Black Worker Initiative aims to help expand opportunities for black worker organizing and thereby greatly contribute to the revitalization of the U.S. labor movement as a whole. This program is deeply committed to helping achieve both the historic and contemporary aims of the labor and civil rights movements.

Wall Street and Global Finance
IPS staff play lead roles in coalitions working to restore the financial sector to its proper purpose of serving the real economy. We track the reckless Wall Street bonus culture, for example through our annual “Off the Deep End” report on the size of the financial industry bonus pool versus the cost of paying restaurant servers and domestic workers a living wage. We also advance innovative reforms such as a small tax on Wall Street speculation to curb short-term trading and generate massive revenue for urgent public needs, such as fixing our crumbling national infrastructure.

Low-Wage Workers
IPS staff play lead roles in coalitions working to restore the financial sector to its proper purpose of serving the real economy. We track the reckless Wall Street bonus culture, for example through our annual “Off the Deep End” report on the size of the financial industry bonus pool versus the cost of paying restaurant servers and domestic workers a living wage. We also advance innovative reforms such as a small tax on Wall Street speculation to curb short-term trading and generate massive revenue for urgent public needs, such as fixing our crumbling national infrastructure.

Inequality.org
Inequality.org and a related weekly newsletter are key resources for the public at large, journalists, teachers, students, academics, activists, and others seeking information and analysis on wealth and income inequality. Here, we collect the latest developments on inequality and keep readers abreast of relevant information concerning the widening wealth gap. We highlight stories from activists on the front lines of the fight against extreme inequality and share information that can be used for ongoing campaigns.

Latest Work

Policy Handcuffs in the Financial Crisis

A new report finds that bans on capital controls are outdated and a hindrance to developing nations.

IPS on the CEO Pay Caps

We applaud efforts to cap bailout pay, but are concerned about reports of weak Treasury rules.

Executive Pay and the Bailout

An analysis of new proposals for change.

Mandate for Change: Policies and Leadership for 2009 and Beyond

Mandate for Change offers a set of specific policy proposals for the incoming Obama administration on every major domestic and international topic, written specifically for the book by leading thinkers and activists in the field.

Ecuador’s Debt Default: Exposing a Gap in the Global Financial Architecture

The South American country’s refusal to make ‘immoral and illegitimate’ payments exposes an international financial architecture glitch.

Obamas Agenda for Change and the 2009 Summit of the Americas

Barack Obama’s electoral victory represents hope for a change in direction for U.S. relations with Latin America.

Skewed Priorities

The approximately $4.1 trillion that the United States and European governments have committed to bail out financial firms is 40 times the money they’re spending to fight climate and poverty crises in the developing world.

Bailouts Dwarf Spending on Climate and Poverty Crises

The approximately $4.1 trillion that the United States and Europe have committed to rescue financial firms is 40 times the money they’re spending to fight climate and poverty crises in the developing world.

Towards an Economic System that Works for People and the Planet

A civil society statement on the G20 summit from IPS Director John Cavanagh and coalition members.

Swear Off ‘Market Fundamentalism’

As long as U.S. officials continue to refuse to face the reality of a post-market fundamentalist world, they will further contribute to the crisis.

A New Day

With sweeping Democratic victories in the House, Senate, and presidential races, a new day has dawned for American politics.

Rewrite Bailout Rules on CEO Pay

Paulson’s new plan still sides with the executives and shortchanges the taxpayers.

Truth, Lies, the Bailout, and CEO Pay

The bailout does precious little to limit the extravagant pay that gives top executives the incentive to behave outrageously.

Reaction to Bailout Vote

IPS analysts say Wall Street, not taxpayers, should pay.

In Wake of Crash, McCain Talks Tough About CEO Pay Will Congress Call His Bluff?

The candidate is proposing a radical restriction on pay for CEOs of bailed-out firms. But is he serious or is this just election season populism?

Development Redefined

The death of market fundamentalism has triggered the development debate’s return.

The Bailout and CEO Pay: What’s ‘Excessive’?

Congress should use the bailout to reform executive pay, not maintain it.

The Bailout and ‘Greedy’ CEOs

Congress should use the proposed bailout legislation for much-needed reform.

Tax the Speculators

A fair plan to pay for economic recovery.

Development Redefined: How the Market Met its Match

This brief history of development connects an arcane world with contemporary forces of globalization, environmental degradation, and the violation of perhaps the essential human right: to be considered individually, equally, in an economically viable world and way.