Development Centre

Devtalks - Avoiding another lost decade: why we need a new deal



 Friday, 6 November 2020, 11.00 – 12.30 CET - Register here

Join the new online DEV Talks series - Reshaping development

Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre and Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Development is pleased to invite you to an online discussion on:

Avoiding another lost decade: why we need a new deal


Richard Kozul-Wright, Director of the Globalisation and Development Strategies Division, UNCTAD

Stephany Griffith-Jones
, Financial market Director, Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University

Enrique V. Iglesias
, Economist, former President of the Inter-American Development Bank and former Secretary General of the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB)

Annalisa Primi
, Head of Structural Policies and Innovation Unit, OECD Development Centre

Moderated by Mario Pezzini


The pandemic has hit a world already afflicted by major imbalances. To quote the Trade and Development Report 2020 (TDR 2020): “Now is the time to hammer out a plan for global recovery, one that can credibly return even the most vulnerable countries to a stronger position than they were before.” However, this is easier said than done.

The outcome of the 2008-09 crisis shows, we often claim crises as opportunities to shift paradigms, but changing the status quo is challenging without a bold vision, backed by a strategy and resources. The TDR 2020 reminds us that the G20 plan for a collective response after the crash was bold: “restore confidence, growth, and jobs; repair the financial system to restart lending; strengthen financial regulation to rebuild trust; fund and reform international financial institutions to overcome this crisis and prevent future ones; promote global trade and investment and reject protectionism; and forge an inclusive, environmentally sustainable recovery.” The problem is: none of it happened. And ultimately, the result of efforts that followed – trillions of dollars spent repairing the financial system with little accountability on the part of bankers, new trade agreements that maintained pre-existing inequalities and “structural reforms” and austerity across the Europe and the US – “was a self-reinforcing cycle of weak aggregate demand, tepid growth and widening inequality”.

The TDR 2020 shows us that it is not only possible, but necessary to do things differently. This will require a major overhaul of the policy toolbox and existing strategies. First there needs to be a shift in policymaking, recognising that failures and “sub-optimal” performance levels cannot solely be attributed to government intervention. It needs to be acknowledged that markets need “a visible hand” to work properly and that austerity does not ignite growth, but instead preserves stagnation. In parallel, the global multilateral architecture needs to be redesigned.

Is the world ready for such bold change? This DEV Talk is an opportunity to identify how to make it happen.




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