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Institute for Policy Studies
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    • Released February 9, 2009
    Policy Handcuffs in the Financial Crisis
    By Sarah Anderson

    Although many countries have used capital controls effectively to address financial market volatility, 52 national governments lack the power to control money flows across their borders as the result of U.S. trade pacts or bilateral investment treaties. The International Monetary Fund abandoned its blanket opposition to capital controls after the Asian financial crisis that erupted in 1997, but the U.S. government forged ahead, initiating agreements restricting capital controls with 22 more countries.

    The report quotes numerous noted economists, including two Nobel prize winners and close advisors to President Barack Obama, in support of allowing governments to use capital controls. It also lays out five key opportunities for change, including renegotiating trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties, rolling back World Trade Organization commitments on financial deregulation, and reforming World Bank and IMF policies.

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    • Released February 3, 2009
    Executive Pay and the Bailout
    By Sarah Anderson and Sam Pizzigati

    In recent weeks, two legislative initiatives have aimed to crack down on profiteering from the financial bailout. Both were prompted by evidence that the pay restrictions in the original bailout bill have proven largely toothless. Some of the recipients — most notably AIG, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs — have doled out sizeable bonuses to high-ranking staff since receiving billions in taxpayer support. Wall Street firms as a whole handed out more than $18 billion in bonuses last year.

    This memo analyzes both initiatives – Sen. Claire McCaskill’s proposal to set a fixed ceiling for all employees of bailed-out firms and Rep. Barney Frank’s broader reform of the original bailout legislation.

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    • Released November 24, 2008
    Skewed Priorities
    By Sarah Anderson, John Cavanagh, Janet Redman

    The approximately $4.1 trillion that the United States and European governments have committed to rescue financial firms is 40 times the money they’re spending to fight climate and poverty crises in the developing world.

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