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The Global Economy in 2000

What were the most intriguing questions facing the global economy in 2000?

December 25, 2000

What were the most intriguing questions facing the global economy in 2000?

The year 2000 saw the process of globalization consolidate itself even more. At the same, protest against globalziation has become more vigorous, so that businessmen and politicians alike have been forced to make themselves more accountable. The Globalist looks back at some of the most intriguing questions facing the global economy.

Has global communications technology changed the way we live?

“When the image of Nelson Mandela is more familiar to us than the face of our next door neighbor, something has changed in the nature of our everyday experience.”

(Anthony Giddens, Director of the London School of Economics)

Does physisc play a role in the global debate?

“It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity.”

(UN Secretary General Kofi Annan)

How central is economic growth to poverty reduction?

“Discussions of poverty reduction that do not lay primary emphasis on economic growth are like Hamlet without the prince.”

(U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers)

Which condition would you impose when forgiving poor nations’ debt?

“It can’t be that we grant debt relief — and they use the money to buy weapons.”

(German Finance Minister Hans Eichel)

Is there any connection between globalization and anarchy?

“Nothing has revived anarchism like globalization. Anarchists are now battling what they see as a concentration of power in multinational corporations.”

(New York Times reporter Joseph Kahn)

What is the real cost of oil?

“The real price of oil is not the $30 per barrel that consumers are now paying, but the immeasurable losses entailed in the melting of the Arctic ice cap or the ongoing destruction of many tropical coral reefs.”

(Christopher Flavin, acting president of Worldwatch Institute)

Just how successful are cross-border mergers?

“It’s like marriage. You know that 50% fail, but you don’t think it will be you.”

(UN study on cross-border mergers and their potential benefits)

How has the market changed the life of a CEO?

“It used to be, you were a CEO for a decade or more. The market’s just impatient. It’s not allowing executives as much time as they used to have.”

(Wall Street analyst, on the resignation of Proctor & Gamble’s CEO)

What do Mexicans think about foreign takeover of their banks?

“It’s as if we’re a colony again, paying taxes to the Spanish crown.”

(Mexican union leader, on the takeover of Banco Santiago by a Spanish financial group)

What is the main problem governments face in coping with globalization?

“Globalization operates on Internet time. Governments tend to be slow moving by nature, because they have to build political support for every step.”

(U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan)

Does nationalism still exist in the global economy?

“We can’t depend on the German government to always be friendly.”

(U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings, on Deutsche Telekom’s attempts to enter the U.S. market)

How does the United States handle trade disputes?

“The United States is in the bad habit of trying to resolve everything in court.”

(President of Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Commission)

How important are environmental, labor and public health concerns on the global stage?

“We will damage the United States and the global economy if we continue to permit trade to be held hostage to a growing list of non-trade issues. And to stop that means we must deal with the growing fear of globalization.”

(Carla Hills, former U.S. Trade Representative)

And finally, are there downsides to the charmed life of a hedge fund manager?

“Money is supposed to be enjoyed, but if I can’t enjoy two weeks with my kids, what’s the point of it all?”

(Stanley Druckenmiller, former hedge fund manager, on his resignation)