November 14, 2008
The role of the United States as the world’s economic leader will be tested this weekend when 20 significant world leaders meet in Washington to address the global financial crisis.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Some European leaders are hailing the summit as the next Bretton Woods – a reference to the historic talks in the latter days of WWII that, in effect, made the dollar the world’s dominant currency and laid the foundation for the economic order of the past 60 years.
The United States basically ran those meetings. Close to prevailing in the war, it was the world’s undisputed military and economic leader.
But today, with the current credit crisis partly rooted in America, and with the rising economic might of China and a unified Europe, that dominance is being challenged.
“The Europeans see themselves as taking a position equal to the U.S.,” said Irene Finel-Honigman, an international affairs professor at Columbia University specializing in international banking. “We’re looking at a different composition of players and a different powerplay. It’s going to be fascinating to watch.”