By Marshall Kirby.

Marshall is one of AIDemocracy’s 2010-2011 Issue Analysts. Find out more about Marshall below or take a look at the Student Issue Analysts.

There has been much media coverage regarding reform of the financial sector in the US. Regardless of where you may stand on the issue, it is important to note one thing – that while reforms made in each nation can produce results, without global cohesion and cooperation the world’s financial health will remain vulnerable.

Since the global financial crisis, we have witnessed an economic collapse in Iceland and debt crises in both developed and developing economies. Throughout the world specifics are different, but nearly each country faces the same overall picture. The call for financial reform is present in nearly all countries, but what we still lack is global financial reform and cohesion.

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund, two organizations which receive so much criticism, some of which is fair and some unfair, are trying to bring this issue to light. Top IMF officials have gone on the record stating that they believe individual reforms are not going far enough to prevent the root causes of what has caused this global crisis. Echoing this, Charles Dallara, the managing director of the Institute of International Finance has said “Urgent action is needed to arrest the disturbing trend towards unilateral moves.”

The real problem here is that without uniform global financial standards, risky practices will still occur due to loopholes and differing levels of regulation.

The goal of the IMF and the World Bank is for the world to adopt regulations which would greatly reduce the likelihood of financial bubbles and busts and would eliminate the need for countries to do taxpayer bailouts for firms that engage in risky practices. However, looking into the future, they have stated their doubts about the political will of policy makers to push for further comprehensive and shared reforms.

So what does this mean for us? We are approaching the time when world leaders gather this week at the IMF for meetings. It is important for all of us to bring the issue out in the open and put pressure on policy makers to look to the future and not focus on short sighted national reforms which leave the global economy in jeopardy. Without the educated voice of students, activists, and citizens, policy makers will be able to breathe easy knowing that they were able to avoid the hard choices needed to create a framework of global cohesion.

Marshall is a graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s University where he studied political science and international relations with a focus on international organizations.  As a student at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Pubic and International Affairs he studied International Development with a focus on international financial flows such as foreign direct investment and remittances.  Marshall’s interest in international financial policy stems from his belief that with proper governance from international organizations the global economy will be strong and lead to growth and increased prosperity for all.

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