UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Wall Street Consensus: the pandemic turn to green conditionality

07 December 2020, 4:00 pm–5:30 pm

Seminar Series Gabor

Join us for this talk as part of the IIPP Seminar Series, as Daniela Gabor (UWE Bristol) discusses the Wall Street Consensus and what it means for climate-aligned development.

This event is free.

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Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, what Gabor (2020) calls the Wall Street Consensus (WSC) was becoming the hegemonic approach to sustainable development in the Global South. This dominance increased further in the wake of the pandemic. Commitments to ‘green recoveries’ and climate resilience, growing fiscal deficits in the Global South, and the introduction of emergency liquidity measures created more space for the WSC private finance-oriented strategies. In this paper, we use the institutional supercycles framework developed by Dafermos et al. (2020) to explain the rise of the WSC. We portray the WSC as a ‘product’ of the turbulent period into which capitalism has entered since the global financial crisis. We argue that this consensus is a reflection of the attempts of global finance to expand into the Global South, as a response to the low financial returns environment in the Global North. We then analyse three key WSC climate-oriented policies for the Global South: the creation of climate asset classes, the disclosure of climate-related financial risks and carbon pricing. We argue that these WSC climate policies will likely increase financial fragility and will do little to achieve climate-aligned development.

Background material for this seminar

The Wall Street Consensus in pandemic times: what does it mean for climate-aligned development? (under review)

  • Yannis Dafermos, SOAS University of London 
  • Daniela Gabor, UWE Bristol
  • Jo Michell, UWE Bristol

Read more about the IIPP Seminar Series 2020-21

About the Speaker

Daniela Gabor

Professor at University of West England, Bristol

Daniela Gabor studies critical macrofinance, central banking and money, and the turn to private finance in international development.

Twitter: @danielagabor

More about Daniela Gabor