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from The Great Debate:

The G20 summit should commit to growth

By Gordon Brown
The views expressed are his own.

The build-up to the G20 summit has been dominated by the euro's failings. With Europe now the epicenter of the global crisis, its continued weakness will dominate the G20 discussions. Even now, uncertainties about Greece’s future -- and about the real strength of Europe’s commitment to its new stability fund -- has left little opportunity for a focus on the global economy as a whole.

But even if the state of the world economy has featured less than the euro in the preparatory work for the summit, the decisions world leaders will make on the global economy will dictate the mood of the coming two years. President Sarkozy has major global initiatives he will unveil to improve global food security, and may even force his plan for a global financial levy on the agenda. But there is a big choice the G20 must make. Either the world will come together and agree on a coordinated growth plan -- or we will retreat into a new, more acrimonious protectionism.

Already the head of the World Trade Organization is warning of a return to protectionism, and every day we find yet another new country following Brazil, Switzerland, Indian, Korea, and Japan in introducing either new tariffs, currency controls, or capital controls. In response, the draft G20 communiqué assumes a free trade world where each continent steps up what it is doing in order to achieve sustained growth.

But a G20 that was really working would take countries far beyond the current draft communiqué -- which is a set of bland statements about what each country is doing on its own to foster growth. Instead it would focus on coordinated  measures under which countries would agree to support and complement each other's contribution. If , under an agreed growth pact, China increased consumer spending and Asia opened its markets, and if this was balanced by America and Europe investing more in infrastructure,  then over a three year period -- as the IMF has suggested -- there could be 5 percent more growth and 25-50 million more jobs, with 100 million people taken out of poverty.

from The Great Debate:

Obama and flawed logic on Cuba

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Bernd Debusmann - Great Debate

-- Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

The U.S. case for isolating Cuba and keeping it out of international meetings such as this week's Summit of the Americas sounds simple: the country doesn't have democratically elected leaders, it holds political prisoners, it violates human rights and its citizens can't travel freely. All perfectly true.

from The Great Debate:

G20 ends Anglo-Saxon era

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Paul Taylor Great Debate

-- Paul Taylor is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

Thursday's G20 summit may not mark the end or even the beginning of the end of the global recession. It did mark the end of the ascendancy of the unfettered, Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism.

What comes next is far from sure, but it will be different from the headlong dash for individual enrichment, short-term profit and financial acrobatics that began with the dominance of U.S. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. The widespread acceptance of increased regulation would have been anathema for U.S. President Barack Obama's predecessors.

from The Great Debate:

G20 shows power shift to multipolar world

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Paul Taylor Great Debate -- Paul Taylor is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

A year ago, mere mention of the notion of a multipolar world was a sure way to lose friends and dinner invitations in Washington.

The London G20 summit shows just how far power has ebbed from the United States, and from the West in general. Until late 2008, the Group of Eight mostly Western industrialized nations -- the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Russia and Japan -- was the key forum for economic governance.

from The Great Debate:

Mobile industry stimulus, strings attached

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ericauchard1-- Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

Some of the world's biggest mobile operators say they can stimulate the global economy by luring $550 billion in new investment, but only with the implied trade-off that they retain their monopoly market powers.

AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DoCoMo, Telefonica and Vodafone are among the carriers who have called on national regulators to provide a "minimally intrusive" regulatory environment to encourage new investment.

from The Great Debate:

Challenges for the G20: The IMF and regulation

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StephanyGriffith-Jones-- Stephany Griffith-Jones is executive director of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia University. The views expressed are her own. --

There are many important challenges facing G20 leaders when they meet in London in early April.

from The Great Debate:

Buck-passing augurs ill for G20 summit

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Paul Taylor Great Debate-- Paul Taylor is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

The foreplay to next month's G20 summit is degenerating into a buck-passing exercise rather than crafting a Grand Bargain to save the world economy and regulate capitalism.

The industrialized powers do not agree on how to arrest the steep slide in output, how to handle collapsing banks, how much market regulation is needed, how to reach a world trade deal and prevent protectionism, or how to redistribute power to emerging nations in exchange for their money.

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