The global financial system is broken.....badly broken. It is not serving domestic economies, or the global economy. It is not serving the people. It is not serving even itself.
The global financial system needs fixing......urgently. But we need...and here I go again...not just a "new global financial architecture" but a stronger, more stable, more equitable and more sustainable global financial and economic system.
How do we achieve that? Well, as it turns out we were, yes were, off to a great start. Governments managed to talk, agree and act in a coordinated manner. Developing and Developed countries will come to the table in the first of several summits as the G20 meets this weekend in Washington. China, in a major move, stated it would be an active participant.
So why have I used "were"? Because I am becoming doubtful that we are heading in the right direction:
First, I still hear some world leaders and their surrogates talking about blame and responsibility. I really think we do not have the time or luxury to squander this precious opportunity to achieve real meaningful change to the entire global landscape. Use history to understand the problems and guide solutions, but long speeches about who did what to whom is really not helpful. There are very constructive ways to spend time at this weekend's G20 meeting, and pointing fingers respectfully, is not it.
Second, this cementing consensus of the absolute need for an expanded role for the IMF is troubling, frankly. There are well documented problems with the IMF. Increasing funds to the IMF and expanding its powers before reforms are even agreed upon seems like a recipe for further problems - sooner rather than later. I recognize that there are so many issues that are complex that it will take time, but I hope this weekend's meeting realizes that the emergency measures must not cause more problems.
Third, I have struggled with the best way to say this one so here goes:
- I understand there is only one President at a time, and I agree. So I understand that the President-elect does not either want to or feel that it is appropriate to be at this weekend's meeting.
- I understand the need for the President-elect to have representatives who do not necessarily participate, but listen.
I am so incredibly disappointed if that is the case.
- It is no small accomplishment that the G20 is willing to meet.
- It is no small opportunity to reshape the global financial and economy system so that it works better for all in a sustainable way.
- It is no small task to achieve consensus on very technical issues where I am sure that Heads of State will come fully prepared from their respective Finance Ministers who meet just before this meeting.
- Finally, it is a huge underestimation of the global will to move on - and do so urgently. This state of limbo just will not do while the US waits for a new American president. Other countries are more than happy to be the financial center of the world. And no matter what, some countries will not allow this to happen to them again ever - Obama or no Obama.