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Basil Oberholzer

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Basil Oberholzer

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Basil Oberholzer

Global capitalism as we face it today has deprived countries of their autonomy in making economic policy decisions. This is even more true for small economies such as developing countries. If they want a chance to provide their populations with acceptable living conditions, they need to regain their scope of action. In particular, countries must be able to defend themselves against devastating macroeconomic events such as capital flight and currency crises. This book has delivered arguments for how poor countries may design macroeconomic strategies to foster economic development. After removing the external constraint and getting the system for their international payments right, developing countries are able to direct the domestic economy. Taxation and social expenditures on the one hand, but mainly public investment on the other hand, are important instruments to bring about economic prosperity and poverty reduction. With the reform of international payments, they can unfold their full potential because they no longer trigger exchange rate volatility, nor do they involve a drag on domestic demand caused by the twofold payment of imports and interest on foreign debt. No doubt, there are gaps in the analysis. It was argued at the beginning that inequality is an important factor determining both objective and subjective poverty. Yet, it has not been systematically integrated into the theoretical analysis. At least, however, the potential of economic policy to influence income distribution, be it by taxation and social transfers or by the public sector’s (intentional) impact on the labor market, has been highlighted. There is a sketch of how a development strategy can also direct the share of total income going to labor. This can be emphasized further, particularly regarding the harmful impact of inequality on a society’s health and violence. Poverty is a multidimensional issue to which this book cannot do justice. But a macroeconomically sound system is necessary to even think about how to reduce it.

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Basil Oberholzer

When popular Michael Manley took office as the Prime Minister of Jamaica in 1972, the country suffered from high illiteracy, unemployment and poverty. In the two decades before, the private sector had proven not to be able to guarantee long-term economic and social development. The government was expected to initiate change and steer growth (Davis, 1986, p. 77). Immediately after his election, Manley started the program he had promised: among other measures, a minimum wage was established; his land reform redistributed farmland to small-scale farmers; education at all levels became free; adult education programs reduced illiteracy. Did the story end as a success? To finance the program, the government ran high budget deficits that were mainly financed by foreign capital flows. The government expanded, while support for the private sector was reduced. This prompted capital flight (Shams, 1989, p. 75). Capital leaving the country meant currency devaluation, inflation, and economic contraction. Violence spread over the country. Manley lost his election in 1980.

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Basil Oberholzer

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Peter J. Rimmer

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Peter J. Rimmer

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Peter J. Rimmer

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John Hatchard

This chapter reviews the present position in the fight against money laundering by African PEPs. Despite their political power and influence, the chapter concludes that thanks to constitutional, legal and economic factors there is cause for cautious optimism that AML action at the national, transnational and corporate levels is having a positive impact. This is illustrated by the Thiam, Cashgate and Airbus cases and the disclosures from the Luanda Papers. The chapter also notes the vital role played by civil society organisations in supporting AML efforts.

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John Hatchard