Professor Sikka calls for policies placing the interests of the 99% at the heart of the debate

prem sikka 4Prem Sikka, Professor of Accounting, Business School, University of Essex surveys the World Economic Forum at the Swiss ski resort of Davos, where the world’s rich and powerful gather to discuss the world’s economic and social problems.


davosElite retreat. World Economic Forum, CC BY-SA

Professor Sikka points out that the ‘grand narrative’ of the previous Davos summits have carved out policies for the rich to advance their own interests and done little to check inequalities. Past failures are evident from Oxfam’s latest report which states that very soon 1% of the world’s adult population will own more than the rest.

In the UK, the richest 1,000 people have doubled their wealth over the past five years to £519 billion. At the same time, millions of people in Britain have seen a real decrease in their income.

Political leaders will talk about tackling public debt, a cue for more austerity, reduction in public expenditure and further privatisation of state-owned enterprises, often at knock-down prices resulting in huge wealth transfers.

Economic policies are increasingly formed to appease financial markets where vast amounts are gambled every day though they produce little tangible economic activity.

In this narrative there is no space for workers, trade unions, industrial democracy, or people who want to live fulfilling lives. Markets are supposed to serve society but people are increasingly forced to dance to their short-term financial tunes.

The top 500 transnational corporations control 70% of the worldwide trade, 80% of the foreign investments, one-third of all manufacturing exports, 75% of all commodities trade and 80% of the trade in management and technical services. Breaking up these global behemoths and making them accountable to the public is not on the Davos agenda; corporations are frequently able to hold governments to ransom: “give us what we want or we are off” has become a familiar call from companies to discipline governments.


International forums are increasingly essential to solve global problems, but they can’t be addressed by pursuing the interests of the 1%. The neoliberal experiment for the last 35 years has failed to deliver full employment, economic stability or equitable distribution of wealth. A radical shift is needed to develop policies that place the interests of the 99% at the heart of the debate.

Read his article in full here:



Posted on January 25, 2015, in Conflict of interest, Corporate political nexus, Democracy undermined, Economy, Finance, Lobbying, Parliamentary failure, Planning, Privatisation, Reward for failure, Secret State, Taxpayers' money, uncategorized, Vested interests and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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