G20 Outcomes

Rather than blog furiously on this, here is an excellent substantive assesment from the international labour movement.


Having been on or about the fringes of the event,  I’d see the main substantive outcome as  the further  institutionalization of  global economic governance.  The IMF gets increased resources and clout.. with some very modest strings of reform in terms of who runs the show.  The not very new and very opaque Financial Stability Board may or may not adequately re-regulate global finance in tandem with the IMF, but it is at least a small step to setting some global rules and exceeds minimalist expectations due to continental European pressures to modify Anglo Saxon financial capitalism.  On fiscal  stimulus and macro co-ordination, there’s almost nothing new for now, but the G20 will meet again in the Fall, and the upcoming G8 will be attended by almost all of the G20. So the debate on that front  is not going to go away, especially as the crisis deepens. The basic thread of agreement between the key agenda drivers in London – Brown, Obama, Merkel and Sarkozy – was that national policies need to be better co-ordinated to produce a recovery for global capitalism – while pressures for much more fundamental reform of the system from the large developing countries (Brazil, South Africa, China) were kept at the margins.

What was slightly surprising to me was that the tone of urgency and alarm sounded by the IMF and the OECD re abysmal economic prospects moving forward resulted in nothing at all in terms of cleaning up the banking mess (hardly mentioned in the communique) or in terms of immediate  new spending.  G20 leaders seem to be collectively hoping for the best even as their technical experts become increasingly alarmed.

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