G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meet
The third of the G20 finance ministers' meetings of the 2011 French presidency is expected to continue work on global economic reform. France has listed coordination, protection and diversification as key means of reforming the system. The issue of indicative guidelines for global imbalances has entered the debate, as well as a proposal by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the G20's regulation task force, that could shield taxpayers from having to rescue failed banks again.
G20 finance ministers will also meet in Paris on Oct 14-15, seeking better policy coordination.
France's communiqué on its aims as G20 president in 2011 -- it is also G8 president for the year -- explains coordination as the attempt to improve the dialogue on economic policies. Protection describes stricter regulation of destabilizing international capital flows and the use of larger and more easily accessible IMF credit lines to act as safety nets. Diversification includes an attempt to shift away from a reliance on the United States dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
According to the Reuters report on the FSB proposal on 15 Jul, the aim is to stop big banks benefiting from cheaper borrowing costs because markets assume governments won't allow them to fail. The havoc seen after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 is one of the reasons the FSB has concentrated on such regulation. The proposal centers on a capital surcharge on the world's biggest banks by 2019.
The G-20 is made up of the finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States. The 20th member is the European Union.
The body was established in 1999 as a response both to the financial crises of the late 1990s and to a growing recognition that key emerging-market countries were not adequately included in the core of global economic discussion and governance. Similar groupings to promote dialogue and analysis had been established at the initiative of the G-7.
The inaugural G20 meeting took place in Berlin on 15-16 Dec 1999, hosted by German and Canadian finance ministers.
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