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We don’t want another Bretton Woods
November 13, 2008
Representatives of some 20 nations are preparing to fly to Washington to erect a new architecture to house the world’s financial system – “a new global order” was the description Gordon Brown used in Monday’s speech at the Lord Mayor’s banquet. To prepare for this meeting of the G20 industrialised and emerging nations, Europe’s leaders gathered last week in Brussels and set down the principles they intend to have President Bush sign on to. And – get this – they gave America a 100-day deadline to agree to their plans. “We will be defending a common position, a vision… for reforming our financial system.” My guess is that the American hosts are about as intimidated by this show of unity as the West’s enemies were by the announcement of the formation of the European army.
France and Germany want the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to become a global supervisor of regulators; “the pivot of a renewed international system” is the blurry phrase used so as to minimise offence to the Americans.
Mr Brown has an even bolder agenda. He calls for “global governance”; wants the G20 to agree to a co-ordinated stimulus package; and wants the IMF to become an international monitor of the global economy, operating “an early warning system and a crisis prevention mechanism for the whole world”.
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