2010, Economy

The Economic Crisis and Poor People in ‘the South’

The Economic Crisis and Poor People in ‘the South’

Rob van Drimmelen

I was born and raised in the Netherlands and studied monetary economics at the Free University in Amsterdam. In a previous professional incarnation, I worked in a bank in the USA, well before the present crisis… The mysterious ways of the Lord led me to the World Council of Churches where I worked, in different capacities, for almost 15 years. At present, I am serving as General Secretary of APRODEV, the association of 17 ecumenical development and humanitarian agencies in Europe.

Following what I learnt from the Reformed tradition about good sermons, I have divided my contribution into three parts:

  1. Why should we, as Christians and churches, be concerned about economic issues?
  2. What are the signs of the times? (Matt. 16:3)
  3. Interpreting the signs of the times (Romans 8:31)

In each part, I will try to focus on perspectives which pertain to realities in ‘the South’.

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2010, Economy

The Economic Crisis and the Prospects for the UK

The Economic Crisis and the Prospects for the UK

Simon Braid

I am an accountant, not an economist, but I have done research on the current crisis. I was recently ordained, and it was during my ordination training that the economic crisis gave me a chance for reflection on it and on the ethical issues involved. My presentation will be in four parts:

  1. What happened last year (background)
  2. Where we are today (main part)
  3. Where things might be heading
  4. Some ethical/ theological thoughts from a faith perspective

Background: What Happened

The background in the UK was 15 years of sustained economic expansion. Growth was particularly strong in the financial and housing sectors, which made up 60 per cent of the growth in GDP. But this growth was based on individual and corporate borrowing and easy (though not necessarily cheap) liquidity. It benefited from a benign global economy, and low-priced manufactured goods from countries such as China fed the consumer boom in the West. Commentators looking back now say this was unsustainable: that was not what they were saying at the time! We recall Gordon Brown’s famous statement about the ‘end of boom and bust’.

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