Some Advice for the G20

Mar 2009 Source: Global Investment Research

The case for expansionary fiscal policy and stronger international regulations

  • The April G20 Summit will focus on four general areas: macroeconomic policy, increased financial regulation, international governance and free trade.

  • While desirable, effective implementation of international co-operation on macroeconomic policy and regulation is difficult to achieve.

  • We believe that more expansionary fiscal policies are needed in the developed world outside the US. That said, it is unrealistic to expect the G20 to agree on specifics.

  • Despite consensus on the need for stronger international regulation, success here will depend on better domestic regulation.

  • We expect the G20 to jointly propose a substantial reform of the IMF and other IFIs, paving the way for more effective policies.

  • Although the G20 constitutes a major advancement over the G7/G8, ultimately it will need to be consolidated into a smaller group to be more effective. We propose the formation of a G4, within a broader G14.

  • G20 leaders need to be tougher on opposing protectionism.

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Jim O'Neill
Many thanks to Swarnali Ahmed, Alex Kelston and Loretta Sunnucks for their skill in putting this difficult paper together in a presentable manner, and to many of my colleagues in ECS for their valuable comments, and especially Steve Strongin for our various discussions.