Friday, November 27, 2009

The G20: a club of gate crashers and insiders' intrigues?

The G20 has, as we have previously blogged, produced exceedingly flimsy, and in some cases quite appalling, responses to issues like tax havens (secrecy jurisdictions) and illicit flows. Now we have a good article in the FT explaining some unfortunate things that go on:

"Spain, the world’s ninth largest economy, was left out, but it barged into the Washington summit last November. Holland just decided to join, and no one stopped it. After all, its economy is much larger than that of Argentina, a G20 member. An international community based on the principle of gate-crashing deserves no respect."

We don't have any particular objection to any of these countries' participation in G20 meetings, but the process does look dubious. And there is more:

"Nor does the G20 possess agreed rules of governance. At the London summit last April, complaints abounded that actual decisions were based on the intrigues of the leading insiders, excluding at least half the G20 countries. That is the natural outcome if aggressive political leaders are let loose without rules."

Indeed. The G20 can play a role. But treat it with caution and skepticism.

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