NIFA-II or 'Bretton Woods-II'?: The G-20 (Leaders) summit process on managing global financial markets and the world economy - quo vadis?

Norton, Joseph J.
September 2010
Journal of Banking Regulation;Sep2010, Vol. 11 Issue 4, p261
Academic Journal
Since November 2008, there have been four historic G-20 Leaders meetings (with a fifth scheduled for Korea in November 2010), in lieu of the traditional G-8 Heads of State meeting format, to address the current Global Financial Crisis and other related economic matters of global concern. This new global governance rubric has been denominated by the G-20 Leaders (representing 80 per cent of the world's population and 90 per cent of world GDP) as the 'premier' forum as to future international economic cooperation. This new governance model is rooted in a short and medium-term 'Action Plan' and within a broader and longer-term 'Global Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth' (a new global growth model under the G-20 Leaders' direction).This article considers retrospectively the roots of this new economic governance paradigm and prospectively whether and in what ways this framework/process might signal a new international collaborative approach to global economic governance for securing 'financial stability' as a 'global public good' (that is, a 'new international financial architecture') and otherwise for better rationalizing the policy management of the global economy and the underlying globalization processes. Will this G-20 (Leaders) process prove to be able to function constructively and on a consensus basis as the G-7/8 tried to do previously; and, will it provide the global platform and umbrella framework within which a 'new Global Deal', and 'Grand Bargain' - a new 'Bretton Woods II' economic, monetary and financial World Order - might evolve so as meaningfully to direct and coordinate global monetary, financial, development, investment, trade and other related global policy considerations (for example, labour, energy, and environmental issues)? Or will this process prove to be merely an ad hoc enhancement of existing global instruments, institutions and arrangements that were put into place in the mid-to-late 1990s by the G-7/8 in addressing the various financial crises of the 1990s - the so-called 'New International Financial Architecture' (NIFA-I)? Also, in this article, the makeup and nature of the range of informal global financial 'network' arrangements, institutions and instruments generated in advance, otherwise related to NIFA-I, or being generated under the new governance framework will be considered, along with the newly envisioned roles of the IMF, Financial Stability Board, World Bank and OECD. Also, a brief discussion will be undertaken as to whether the G-7/8 forum will continue, and if so, in what context and in what relationship to the new G-20 Leaders framework.


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