10/24/2011, 00.00
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Vatican: a world authority for an economy free of "market idolatry"

A document of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The crisis shows the need to subordinate finance to politics. Globalization requires an "impartial authority, with the power to decide through democratic processes and to sanction in accordance with law." Among the "steps" the establishment of a tax on financial transactions.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The economic crisis that the world is experiencing demonstrates the need for finance to be subjected once more to politics "that concerns itself with the common good": to this end the Vatican proposes the creation of a new global financial authority to "regulate the flow and the system of monetary exchange," involving emerging and developing nations.

The proposal of creating a public authority of universal jurisdiction is contained in a statement issued by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, presented this morning, as we approach the G-20 meeting, scheduled for November 3 and 4, next in Cannes, France.

The document was presented by the President of the Pontifical Council, Card. Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, who said it has as its pillars the sacred value of human dignity and the search for the common good. He also outlined some stages and characteristics of the path to follow. These include: the establishment of a tax on financial transactions, the demand for reflection on the forms of recapitalization of banks with public funds, conditioning the support of virtuous behaviour aimed at developing the real economy and not speculation.

The note starts from an analysis of the economic, cultural and social crisis that revealed a behaviour of selfishness, greed and collective hoarding of goods on a large scale." The economy since the end of the twentieth century has seen an increase in the distribution of money compared to the production of income, asset bubbles, the solvency and confidence crisis. It has become a world where inequalities have increased enormously, which is "extremely difficult even for peace." Everything on the basis of a "utilitarian ideology," for which "personal good leads to common good," while "although legitimate, individual profit does not always favour the common good."

The "technocratic ideology" and " market idolatry," said Secretary of the Pontifical Council, Msgr. Mario Toso, "had a negative impact on the globalized international financial and monetary system, causing inequalities in terms of sustainable economic development, and serious problems of social justice, especially putting a strain on the weakest people. They need to be overcome "by constructing a new thought, a new global humanism, open to transcendence, that of the primacy of being rather than having, where more' person friendly' ethics command, ie an ethic of brotherhood and solidarity and the subordination of economics and finance to politics, one that is responsible for the common good. "

Hence the proposal of a " decided step from a system of governance - that is, horizontal coordination between states without a non-partisan authority - to a system that, in addition to horizontal coordination, with have an impartial authority, with power to decide democratic processes and to sanction in accordance with law. "

This world authority should develop with the UN as a point of reference. In the new world political authority, policies of "governance" and "shared government" should coexist, ie 'horizontal coordination and impartial authorities. A prerequisite for reform is a "minimum body of shared rules necessary to manage the global financial market", given that the Bretton Woods system is in crisis and the International Monetary Fund has lost its stabilizing character on global finance.

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