By Greg Palast
It’s been a year since globalized finance brought the planet to its knees, yet here in Geneva, where in late November the WTO opened its grand “seventh ministerial,” the diplomats are in denial. One confidential document from the files of WTO members – definitely not on the WTO website – tells us that despite financial and environmental crises, the globalizers still want to party like it’s 1999.
In that year, just eight months before the Battle of Seattle, the WTO’s Financial Services Agreement (FSA) became global law, breaking down old rules against cross-border trade in currency and financial derivatives. Financial goods spread rapidly. So did financial bads. The result: the collapse of US mortgage-backed securities slammed holders worldwide. When California home prices swooned, Iceland’s banks melted.