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Views from the Center

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Currency Wars Are a Development Problem and the G-20 Has a Major Role to Play in the Solution

Last weekend’s communiqué from the G-20 finance ministers is a first step to bridge the divide in the ongoing currency wars. I find both hope and disappointment in the Communiqué. It is very positive that the G-20 ministers have called for the IMF to help identify countries with policies leading to large and unsustainable imbalances. This is a step in the right direction, although no specific quantitative indicators have yet been advanced.

Development and the Seoul G-20 Summit

Reports of progress last weekend notwithstanding, the so-called currency wars—the reality and threat of competitive devaluations—are likely to continue to dominate the news about the upcoming Seoul G-20 Summit.

The G-20 Is a Great Idea … but Let’s Make Sure the Execution Is Right!

This post is joint with Enrique Rueda-Sabater Moving from the clearly obsolete G-7 to a broader group that reflects the reality of today’s world makes eminent sense. Doing it on the basis of a grouping improvised during the crisis-before-last (and making sure that it included the then-favorite finance ministers of the U.S. and Canadian sponsors) is squandering the opportunity to move up to a credible, transparent, global governance platform.

Behind the Headlines: Toronto Summit(s) and Development

The G-8 and G-20 summits held in Canada last week yielded few headlines on development issues, but there was plenty of rhetoric about global interdependence and poverty reduction and a handful of promising, if mostly modest, development initiatives just below the media’s radar. As expected, the G-20 declaration focused on when and how to unwind stimulus programs that helped to avert a global economic collapse, and on strengthening regulation of the financial sector to avoid a repeat of the 2008–09 financial crisis.

Exuberance Tempered by Political Worries at Latin America World Economic Forum

On April 6-8, I participated in the World Economic Forum on Latin America, which this year took place in beautiful Cartagena, Colombia. The meetings convened about 600 leaders from industry, government and civil society from over 40 countries. It included the participation of 6 Presidents from the region. I spoke in two panels on: (a) the impact of newly proposed international financial regulation on the stability of Latin America’s financial systems and (b) the development of local capital markets.