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Watch, Listen, and Learn

  • Watch Lori Wallach discuss the relationship between GATS and financial regulation with Hamid Mamdouh, Director of WTO's Services Division.


  • Listen to a discussion on safeguarding financial stability at the 2011 WTO Public Forum.

  • View a powerpoint about financial regulation.

  • Learn more about UNCTAD XIII.

Financial Services

Around the world, there are calls for robust regulations of banks and the financial sector. There is a new global conseunsus for reregulation in the aftermath of the 2008 global economic crisis. But there is a seeming total lack of awareness that most of the world's countries are bound to expansive financial services deregulation requirements imposed by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and various Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). These terms lock in domestically, and export internationally, the model of extreme financial service deregulation that most analysts consider a prime cause of the global financial crisis. Deregulation (not only liberalization) of the financial service sector - including banking, insurance, asset management, pension funds, securities, and more - is among the most important, but least discussed, aspects of the WTO and FTAs. These onerous terms are being replicated and expanded in trade deals now under negotiation like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) "free trade" agreement.


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