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Re-Regulating Global Finance with the Poor in Mind: A Policy Paper

6 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2008 Last revised: 5 Nov 2008

David Kinley

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: October 2008


For the poor, finance is always about much more than economics. In practical as well as philosophical terms it is a matter of basic human rights. As the dust begins to settle on the global financial crisis it is certain that all economies will suffer, but it is in the poorest, least developed states that we will likely see the most dramatic effects, simply because they have less to lose. On top of the sharp price increases in staple foods and fuel earlier this year, least developed nations are especially vulnerable to reductions in foreign direct investment in their economies, in export trade, in the levels of remittances, and in the quantities of economic aid they receive. Thoughts are now starting to move beyond the immediate concern of how to staunch the haemorrhaging global capital markets, to questions of how to repair the system for the long-term. In these discussions, considerations of how best to serve the poor must be front and centre. This essay outlines the key legal, moral, political and economic arguments why this must be so and offers some pointers as to how it might be achieved.

Keywords: international law, banking and finance, international development, international institutions, social justice, human rights

JEL Classification: G10, G15, G21, K10, K30, K33

Suggested Citation

Kinley, David, Re-Regulating Global Finance with the Poor in Mind: A Policy Paper (October 2008). Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/118. Available at SSRN: or

David Kinley (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006

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