The Artificiality of Greek Debt and its Odious Nature

Ilias Bantekas | Guest Blog | June 24, 2015

In April 2015, the President of the Parliament of the newly-elected government of Greece set up a Committee on the Truth about the Public Debt. This was composed of Greek and foreign experts, economists lawyers and others, as well as members of grassroots organisations. All members offered their services pro bono. The object of the Committee was to investigate how Greek foreign debt had accumulated from 1980 to 2014.

In June 2008, Greek public debt was about 252 billion Euros,…

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$95-Billion Tax Benefits for Companies, Individuals, Up 7%

IndiaSpend Team | Guest Blog | March 3, 2015

While the central government is expected to earn a tax revenue of Rs 919,842 crore ($148 billion) for the financial year 2015-16, it is expected to forego revenue of Rs 589,285.2 crore ($95 billion) in 2014-15 due to exemptions granted to companies and individual taxpayers. This forgone revenue, or tax benefits, is twice the defence budget allocation of Rs 247,000 crore in 2014-15. Tax-revenue  forgone is a contentious issue–an “incentive” or a “sop”, depending on ideological position–and becoming more so at a time when the…

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Public-Private Partnerships, Financial Extraction and the Growing Wealth Gap

Nicholas Hildyard | Guest Blog | December 8, 2014

Wealth is increasingly concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. The gap between rich and poor is widening between and within countries all over the world, a trend that “menaces vigorous societies” says Will Hutton, the former editor-in-chief of the UK’s Observer newspaper. But such growing inequality does not come about by itself. “It is a proxy”, says Hutton, “for how effectively an elite has constructed institutions that extract value from the rest of society.”

Public-Private Partnerships are one such institution.

PPPs come…

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Reviving the Call for a Global Financial Transaction Tax

By Kavaljit Singh | Blog | November 7, 2014

The G20 Leaders’ Summit will take place on 15 and 16 November in Brisbane, Australia. The Summit is expected to discuss a wide range of global policy issues and challenges from corruption to taxation to employment to financial regulation to growth strategies. It is expected that the Brisbane Action Plan, which would be discussed at the Summit, will outline an action plan which would be implemented by member-countries in the coming months.

Given the lackluster approach of member-countries towards implementing…

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Argentina’s Default, Vulture Funds and Sovereign Debt Restructuring

Oscar Ugarteche and Ariel Noyola Rodríguez | Guest Blog | September 23, 2014

On September 9, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to create a new multilateral legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring processes. The resolution, drafted by Bolivia on behalf of the Group of 77 (consisting of 133 member-countries) plus China, was approved with 124 votes in its favour. There were 41 abstentions and only 11 members (including the US, the UK, Japan, Canada and Israel) voted against it. The resolution notes that “sovereign debt crises are a recurring…

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