What will be the shape of the world’s new financial order?
But calls are being made for much deeper, coordinated reforms, and a series of global summits is planned to discuss how to reform the financial system. The first of these meetings will be held on Nov. 15 in the United States.
Capitalism as we used to know it may be on its deathbed. Some world leaders have called for a revamp of the 1944 Bretton Woods conference that resulted in the post-World War Two financial order and created the IMF and the World Bank.
Economists and commentators have been filling newspapers with suggestions about what should be included in the new financial architecture, from more regulation to concerns about climate change and trade.
Some experts say world leaders risk making terrible mistakes of they get it wrong and must stand back and properly assess what went wrong before enacting wholesale reforms. Others say it would be wrong to force one country or region’s vision on another.
There is little doubt we are now, as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown put it, at a “defining moment” for the world economy. But there are more questions than answers.
Can world leaders overcome their differences and live up to the task? Will they have any concrete proposals to discuss on Nov. 15? Will it be more than a big talking shop?
As financial and philanthropist George Soros says, what kind of system will evolve from this is a very open question.