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

Are CEOs worth that much more?

The huge pay gap only makes sense if CEOs add hundreds of times more value than other leaders in society.

Strategic Corporate Initiative

Toward a global citizens’ movement to bring corporations back under control

Executive Excess 2007

IPS’ 14th Annual CEO Compensation Survey on The Staggering Social Cost of U.S. Business Leadership.

Despite the Mortgage Crisis, Hedge Funders Are Still Raking It In

The little guys may be hurting, but fear not for the titans of capital.

Latin America Rising: U.S. Role Turned Upside Down

Latin America is leading a historic break from the failed policies of the International Monetary Fund.

Top 10 Reasons Why Paul Wolfowitz Was a Great World Bank President

Progressives should think twice before rejoicing over Wolfie’s departure.

Foreign Investors Gone Wild

Leaders of developing countries are often forced to work with institutions that promote and protect foreign investment — with little regard for the costs to democracy and the environment.

Missing Words For The New Trade Debate

Democrats need to take an axe to the Bush Administration’s trade policies.

Selfish Interest

How much Business Roundtable CEOs stand to lose from real reform of runaway executive pay.

Challenging Corporate Investor Rule

How the World Bank’s investment court, free trade agreements, and bilateral investment treaties have unleashed a new era of corporate power and what to do about it.

Ten Reasons Why the Wal-Mart Pundits Are Wrong

Rebutting the conservative pundits and corporate flacks who have been singing Wal-Mart’s virtues.

Executive Excess 2006

Defense and oil executives cash in on conflict.

Alternatives to a Wall

How NAFTA, CAFTA, and other corporate-friendly trade policies displace farmers and create mass migration, and how we can do better.

Debt Boomerang

How Americans would benefit from cancellation of impoverished country debts.

Executive Excess 2005

Defense contractors get more bucks for the bang.

AFTER the FTAA: Lessons from Europe for the Americas

With the talks for a free trade agreement for the entire Western Hemisphere on the brink of collapse, this report offers lessons from the EU for an alternative approach to integration.

Wal-Mart’s Pay Gap

Wal-Mart CEO compensation is 871 times as high as U.S. Wal-Mart worker pay; 50,000 times Chinese worker pay.

Field Guide to the Global Economy (Second Edition)

The Field Guide to the Global Economy presents the latest facts to help make sense of the rapidly changing international economy.

Executive Excess 2004

Campaign Contributions, Outsourcing,
Unexpensed Stock Options and Rising CEO Pay