Interlocking Global Business Systems: The Restructuring of Industries, Economies and Capital Markets

By Edward B. Flowers; Thomas P. Chen et al. | Go to book overview

Unfortunately, the world is going toward a global integration and this is its ultimate objective.

In December 1995, the Madrid summit of the European Council took place. The summit adopted a New Transatlantic Agenda, designed to promote peace and stability, democracy and development; to respond to global challenges; to contribute to the expansion of world trade and closer economic relations and to build bridges across the Atlantic. A joint EU-U.S. Action plan was set out, incorporating many items seen as beneficial to trade as to business. Support for the WTO and implementation of Uruguay Round commitments, lower import tariffs, mutual recognition of standards, closer regulatory cooperation, fairer public procurement rules and investment guarantees were all specifically mentioned. Now, there are aims for a Transatlantic Marketplace and a Transatlantic Information Society and work is being done to propel these aims to reality. It is expected that new EU-U.S. agreements on science and technology cooperation and information technology will be concluded. There are now biannual meetings between members of Congress and members of the European Parliament and it is at these meetings that the detail of any such agreements can be discussed. How individuals are going to be benefited from all these complex competitive processes? Economic progress and social welfare must include access to the benefits of growth, first, for the individuals (employees), the human beings of this world and then for the business enterprises (shareholders). The managers of the firms are not partners of the economic process, they are only employees. Today business firms are not employers but are just institutions to improve social welfare. We are referring, today, to business leaders. Who are they? For whom are they working? How can they contribute to the objectives of our society? Have we lost control of every thing that we have created, of every legal entity? The British Institute of Directors published a report in early 1996 on the Social Chapter of the Maastricht Treaty; the report held that there was an EU unemployment crisis. It said there had been jobless economic growth. We do not want this kind of growth. We do not want the stock prices to go up and the unemployment rate, too. These are not business successes but failures.


SUMMARY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS

In a world of unemployment and recession, one might observe countries (especially large economies inside the European Union) undertaking competitive money supply expansions intended to raise domestic output by exporting the unemployment abroad. Similarly, in a world of inflationary pressures, countries tightening their money supplies might be able to reduce their inflation rate by transmitting it to other countries. A domestic monetary contraction would lower domestic prices but, at the same time, would tend to appreciate domestic currency, implying foreign currency depreciation. Even though such depreciation might be associated with a short run improvement in net exports and output abroad it might also raise foreign prices, which is not a welcome event in economies close to full employment, whose main worry is inflation.

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