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Thursday, 3 September 2009

FT's hree-part prescription to take to G20

More from the FT (i've now used up my free articles)

I've stated my belief that the FT is more sympathetic to Gordy than most places, and it comes across again here. Maybe this is because he's an economist and the FT tend to focus on economics?

"Mr Brown, though, is convinced that he still has a story to tell. The bright spot in his short and often troubled premiership has been his prominent role in co-ordinating a global response to the financial and economic crisis.

His chairmanship of the London summit of the G20 group of leading nations in the spring was praised. His grasp of the issues – from the technicalities of banking regulation to arguments about global economic imbalances – is probably unmatched among his peers."

"Mr Brown’s theme is that the crisis has shown governments can co-operate to manage the global economy: “There is definitely proof that when the world comes together it can make some difference”. The lesson to be drawn is that more must be done to institutionalise global economic governance."

I can't do better than to quote it:
"Mr Brown’s prescription comes in three parts. A package at Pittsburgh that charts a return to durable economic growth – including careful co-ordination of the eventual tightening of fiscal policies; measures to restore trust in the banking system, including curbs on remuneration that encourages excessive risk-taking; and a “global compact” to encourage sustained recovery.

This third element would include a commitment to balanced growth – avoiding the imbalances between countries that contributed to the crash – as well as an agreement between rich and emerging economies to tackle climate change.

The package would include “insurance policies” to encourage countries running huge current account surpluses to stop hoarding foreign currency. A recapitalised International Monetary Fund would be on standby, if necessary, to intervene.

The compact could also embrace “trigger points” to alert governments to rising imbalances and to apply peer pressure on governments failing to live up to their promises, say, on dealing with distressed assets. “The world has got to be more co-ordinated in its actions. That is a form of global economic governance that people can have confidence in without diminishing people’s right to make their own national decisions,” he said.

Mr Brown claimed that stabilisation of the banking system “owes a lot to decisions we have made”. Now, the Basel committee must move faster to formulate common rules.

Only the most fervent disciple of laisser faire would challenge the idea that governments have a role in preventing another crash. But are there votes in it at home? Maybe not, but perhaps Mr Brown has an eye also on his place in history."

i think he should go ahead with this, it's his best chance to do some good. The elephant in the room being the election. I think him concentrating on his strengths will bring him the best chance of success, and his strength's are boring, policy stuff

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