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Views from the Center


Congratulations to our friends and neighbors at the Peterson Institute on their new group blog, Real Time Economic News Watch, an excellent source of up-to-date commentary and analysis on the rapidly unfolding global financial crisis. I was particularly interested in Ted Truman's fine piece, Making the World Safe for Sovereign Wealth Funds which, contrary to its name, is really about moves this past weekend to make sovereign wealth funds less risky for the world. According to Ted:

The International Working Group (IWG) of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) unveiled their voluntary Generally Accepted Principles and Practices (GAPP)—the Santiago Principles. The GAPP is a solid piece of work that should help to dispel some of the mystery and suspicion surrounding SWFs. The International Monetary Fund deserves substantial praise for facilitating an agreement in the IWG in a remarkably short period of time.

Based on his previously developed Blue Print for Sovereign Wealth Fund Best Practices, Ted gives thumbs-up to the standards themselves and raises thoughtful questions about disclosure and compliance. Caveats notwithstanding, this looks to me like a story of successful IMF-led multilateralism that the Western mainstream media has so far missed, although there has been some pick-up in the Gulf States. Perhaps it's not surprising that Ted beat the media on this one: his piece went up yesterday, a full day ahead of the IMF's own announcement.

As the global financial crisis continues to unfold, I hope that our friends next door will use Real Time Economic News Watch to also provide timely, incisive analysis about the impacts and responses in the developing world.

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.