Finance chiefs from the G20 meeting in London on Friday and Saturday are likely to be in a slightly better — or at least more relieved — mood than they were last time they got together.
The world economy is still in a mess and the financial system is far from running normally. But — and it is a big but at that — fears of global economic collapse have dissipated. This is in no small part as a result of the actions of groups such as the G20 which endorsed coordinated intervention into the marketplace.
So much so, in fact, that much of this weekend’s discussions will touch on the so-called exit strategies that countries will need to get themselves back out of the stumulus and bailout business. With markets in mind, they are likely to be coy about it.
The G20 itself, meanwhile, is taking on a higher and higher profile as a result of both the global crisis and the rise of China, India and others to economic prominence. In a special report, Brown Brothers Harriman says that the G20 will soon eclipse the G7 as the most important economic policy making gathering.
It argues that it is in the G7′s interest to do so because it stops the solidifying of an emerging market bloc and waters down Russia’s role, following the latter’s now permanent presence as part of an extended G8.