Thanks to Truthspeaker for pointing this out.
It seems that the G-20 (no longer just the G-7 or G-8, but it includes the faster growing economies such as Brazil and China) is endeavoring to unify the global banking system.
Yet, as leaders including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Brazil’s Lula da Silva, and Germany’s Angela Merkel were poised to raise their glasses in an opening toast at a welcome dinner in the State Room of the White House, a working consensus appeared to have emerged on key principles and institutional pillars that will amount to a new framework for the world’s banking system with far-reaching implications.
The outline of the agreement is scheduled to be announced later Saturday, and will then be handed over to a cluster of international working groups that will try to negotiate details in select areas in as little as 100 days before a second summit expected to usher in a new era for global banks, according to diplomats, finance officials, central banker officials and chief executives from Canada and other members of the Group of 20 most economically influential nations.
The new approach to the way finance is regulated that appeared within reach does not so much constitute a major reform of the capitalist system, but rather redoubles its defences. U.S. President Gerorge W. Bush will deliver his account of the deal as summit host in the afternoon at the National Building Museum in DC, after world leaders have headed back to their hotels and embassies to provide their own take in separate briefings.
Significantly, the weight of the world’s largest banks is squarely behind the package of measures, which they had a hand in shaping. After being severely weakened by heavy losses that have claimed many casualties and may fell more, the world’s top banks have embraced both an analysis that acknowledges their role in creating the crises and the need to change the way they operate and are supervised.”We are not proposing self-regulation any more,” said a chief executive who will lead the industry’s contribution to one of the issue-specific working groups.
The international teams of technocrats are expected to be tasked with addressing a handful of areas where there is high-level agreement, but need for more practical grunt work.
A shared goal is to boost the minimum capital and liquidity reserves of banks and reduce overall leverage in the system, though there is agreement this will take time to carry out safely without triggering crises at institutions that are under pressure.
Leaders will also likely agree for the first time that bonus systems for bankers that encourage high-risk bets should be scrutinized by authorities when assessing the safety and soundness of financial institutions.
One of the most highly charged debates in the run-up to the summit has been the vexed issue of answering the call for a new overarching global structure to coordinate national implementation and manage emergency responses, plus who gets to be in charge.
The Washington summit, with its heads of state and other national and international dignitaries, may have attracted all the media attention, but the real action, for anyone who was paying close attention, was at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations last Friday, when British Prime Minister Gordon Brown addressed a special session chaired by former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin on the topic of the financial crisis. Brown, be it noted, has been shuttling back and forth across the Atlantic and among the countries of continental Europe over the past few weeks, lobbying for an ambitious new plan to globalize financial activity. Friday’s presentation at the CFR left little doubt what Brown (and, presumably, a very sympathetic globalist elite at the CFR and elsewhere) truly intends to accomplish with the negotiations that kicked off over the weekend.
Brown spoke of the “birth pangs of the new global order,” and called for “cross border supervision” of financial activity “wherever it is necessary” as well as for “better surveillance of the world economy.” Although Brown’s speech was light on specifics, he did offer a few tantalizing tidbits. “I have no doubt,” he proclaimed, that “we’ll have an International Monetary Fund that looks more like an independent central bank.” He also predicted that “we will reform the relationships between the Financial Stability Forum, the Bank of International Settlements, and international institutions.” Brown expressed optimism that future negotiations would lead to a new world trade deal.
his weekend’s financial summit reshaped global politics and may eventually reshape the global economy. But the gathering left numerous critical details unresolved.
For the first time, instead of the G-7/G-8 club of rich nations, a global crisis summit included leaders of fast-rising nations such as China, Brazil and India. With host President Bush and the leaders of Europe and Japan, the Group of 20 agreed on principles for future crisis-fighting efforts and vowed ambitious financial system reforms.
“This heralds a shift from the G-7/G-8 to the G-20 as the chief steering committee for the world economy. That may turn out to be the most important part of this event,” said Fred Bergsten, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
If nothing else, it should be fun for the next few years!