The G-20 Summit

Eric Helleiner and Stefano Pagliari have written an excellent briefing note on the politics of regulatory reform heading into the summit.

In a nutshell, they argue that Franco-German initiatives to regulate some key elements of global finance – executive compensation rewarding extreme short termist, risky behaviour; off balance sheet activities; the fringe banking sector; over the counter derivatives – have been traditionally oppsed by the US and the UK, champions of “innovation” and lax rules.

Now that the big powers are being joined by the more pro regulation big developing countries, and with Gordon Brown changing his tune the prospect is for serious re-thinking of the global rules.


  • well yes, this and Eric H.’s article on balance of payments & governance are good, but these issues and actors, and more, have been incorporated into the UN Gen’l Assembly process ‘of the G-192’. It’s curious why the entire UN dynamic has been omitted by CIGI. Perhaps Eric’s articles were written before Oct. 30th.

  • here’s the EU report from two days ago, including “the promotion of free trade through the rapid conclusion of the Doha Round.” As friends of the CCPA have noted, the summer Doha Round was characterized by a push by the EU and others to further liberalize financial services. No matter if there is some reigning in of the most offensive ‘innovations’. The financial players still want room to roam, to lord it over exchanges, to avoid currency controls, and to expand into services via P3s, just as the currently EU-controlled IMF has promoted in the DR of the Congo, and currently in Ukraine and other countries.

    The EU also has a 100-day post-N15 agenda that doesn’t include the other 172 nations involved, nor civil society. It’s no wonder civil society groups around the world are calling people into the streets next week. We should be too. And see if Sarkozy will make public a copy of the EU-Harper bilateral deal text while he’s visiting, as Harper refuses to.

    People are sick of being left out of the decision-making while expected to pick up the bills.

  • Saw Gordon Campbell talking this evening on CBC, being interviewed on “Politics”. Couldn’t believe him when he seemed to have to say (twice!) that interprovincial trade-barriers were something that had to come down to help mitigate the problems caused by the slump. Scared the poor dogs with my response to that one . . . .

  • There is a new statement from civil society groups to be released before the G20 meetings this weekend. Sign-ons will be taken until noon on Wed. Nov.12

  • The “fringe” banking sector. Fringe, but not small and not insignificant. And how is it fringe? It’s fringe because it’s ignored mostly by major media and considered, by the establishment, to be out of bounds for purposes of scrutiny and discussion. Otherwise, as Lucy Komisar notes in her section of the book, A GAME AS OLD AS EMPIRE, dealing with the BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International): “No single government can follow what a crooked company is doing. No one can unravel the series of ficticious transactions. Offshore is used to hide and move money for drug and arms traffickers, dictators, terrorists, corrupt officials, financial fraudsters, tax evaders and other cheats. Offshore exists because the world’s big banks want it to exist – they make a lot of money from those secretive branches.” -pg 74

    The mainstream and fringe banking sectors are one big ball of wax – because the corporatocracy wants it that way.

  • Meta:

    For some reason comments are disable on the “Uniting the Left” posting.

  • This statement from the G20 communique today posted at the NYT indicates that Harper has committed Canada to a position which will allow further foreign private ownership and investment in our water, health care, and energy, and will prevent us from banning bulk water export, or more energy exports.
    “In this regard, within the next 12 months, we will refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing World Trade Organization (WTO) inconsistent measures to stimulate exports.”

  • of course it also completely contradicts the call for regulation of financial services.

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