Taking Economic Human Rights Seriously After the Debt Crisis

28 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2011

See all articles by Steven A. Ramirez

Steven A. Ramirez

Loyola University of Chicago School of Law

Date Written: April 15, 2011


The debt crisis of 2007-2009 and its continuing economic fallout reveal costly flaws in the current legal construction of globalization. Most notably, the system of dollar based currency reserves led to excessive debt in the US and diminished durable consumption worldwide. Vindication of economic human rights can sustain consumption and support macroeconomic growth and stability. Even before the crisis, economic human rights demonstrably facilitated economic growth and stability. Unfortunately, economic human rights suffered from deficient legal enforcement mechanisms and billions of global citizens suffered from deficient economic development as a result. Yet, the nearly $10 trillion in currency reserves proves that the world economy holds sufficient wealth to mobilize these human resources. This paper suggests that the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO place economic human rights front and center in terms of all facets of their operations. It also argues that these global institutions be reconfigured to expand the issuance of special drawing rights as an alternative reserve currency. Currency reserves could be banked with the IMF and leveraged (through fractional reserve banking) to fund massive development lending to actualize economic human rights.

Suggested Citation

Ramirez, Steven A., Taking Economic Human Rights Seriously After the Debt Crisis (April 15, 2011). Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, Vol. 42, No. 4, p. 713, 2011; Loyola University Chicago School of Law Research Paper No. 2011-10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1811425

Steven A. Ramirez (Contact Author)

Loyola University of Chicago School of Law ( email )

25 E. Pearson
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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