Optimism is the leitmotif surrounding the Pittsburgh summit Sept.
24-25. Yet certain concerns remain.
A year ago, as the dramatic recession unfolded around the world,
many were convinced the world was heading for a repeat of the crash
Due to measures adopted at the G-20 summit in London last April,
the worst threat in decades to the global economy was contained.
After a 9 percent reduction, global trade has rebounded, thanks
to the injection of $250 billion in flexible, unconditional credit.
By the end of 2009 nearly 50 million jobs will probably be lost, but
there are signs that the worst is past.
Another $750 billion went to stimulate demand and stabilize the
current accounts of many - particularly developing - countries hit
by the drastic cutback in foreign trade and credit.
The scale of mobilized resources has been unprecedented. Yet even
more significant was the quick and decisive show of collective will
involved. The degree of trust thereby regained has helped keep the
economy afloat during this period of uncertainty and turbulence.
The international community managed. Should we celebrate having
avoided the worst? Should we sit back and wait for the next crisis?
After all, the mirage that markets are self-regulating and that
financial profiteering is somehow grounded in economic logic has
Yet even those countries that were not wooed by the promise of
easy gains found themselves unshielded from this gale-force crisis.
When G-20 leaders first met in Washington last year, no fully
worked-out policy proposals were available. Yet leaders did not let
themselves get bogged down in inertia or stalemate. They were aware
that the crisis reflects structural imbalances that reach far beyond
Climate change and growing global competition for energy
resources and markets starkly confirm what we already knew:
Globalization has made us ever more dependent on one other.
Last year Brazil took the lead in defending the consolidation of
the G-20 as a forum of leaders who could manage the crisis
rationally. The time had come for a show of political will and for
undertaking fundamental structural adjustments.
This explains our dismay at the reluctance of developed countries
to embrace proposals for reform of the Bretton Woods institutions.
There is fierce resistance to putting teeth into financial markets'
oversight mechanisms. Banks are going back to the very practices
that precipitated the recent chaos. Bankers continue to be overpaid,
while millions of men and women lose their jobs.
Nor do we understand why industrialized countries refuse to
shoulder their share of the burden when it comes to fighting global
warming. They cannot delegate to developing countries tasks that are
theirs alone. Signs of a return to protectionist instincts are
equally worrisome. …