Thursday, 2 April 2009

G20 Day Two Recap

During the early part the day photos like the one above were released, which does make you wonder if it was more of a school reunion than a summit. I half expected to see a photo of Gordon Brown swaying awkwardly on the dance floor.

By mid afternoon however they seemed to get a grip and an agreement was reached:
  • Bankers' pay and bonuses will be subject to stricter controls
  • A new Financial Stability Board will be set up to work with the IMF to ensure co-operation across borders and provide an early warning mechanism for the financial system
  • There will be greater regulation of hedge funds and credit ratings agencies
  • A common approach to cleaning up banks' toxic assets has been agreed
  • The IMF has an increase of $750bn for poorer countries to draw on. (read more)
It's hard not to look at these measures and feel it's too little too late. For the long term however there are some potentially positive points, taking a stricter rather than complacent line with finance, along with putting the money pledged into a fund, rather than a stimulus are steps forward. Though the 'Financial Stability Board' just sounds like a box ticking group, or a problem waiting to happen.

For Brown though, pushing for the $1tn could be misjudging how people will respond to the "$1 trillion" headlines, as the public already feel enough money has been wasted. Additionally the countries and people that will benefit from this directly aren't UK voters. Unless he backs this up with real action and leadership here in Britain, a large amount of people will take the line that charity starts at home, if they haven't already.

His poll result off the back of this will be very interesting.

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