The new financial high-rise — the foundations of which were laid in Washington DC on November 15 — in which G20 will lay the ground floor in London on April 2, is going to be the world’s biggest economic-diplomacy build up, ever. And already, the builders of what is increasingly being referred to as Bretton Woods II, are divided.
On Saturday, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee scored a small victory for India, when he said India will fight against “protectionist policies” gaining ground globally, particularly in the US, a fight that has taken the issue to the No 1 global revival agenda slot. “We commit to fight all forms of protectionism and maintain open trade and investment,” the G20 finance ministers’ and central bank governors’ March 14 communiqué said.
BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are seeking greater control of International Monetary Fund from developed economies. And among the latter, opinion on how to resolve the crisis is sharply divided between the conservative continental Europe and the apparently adventurous US.
Beyond all that lies a huge constituency comprising six billion households who know very little about what’s going on but are the most affected by the global meltdown. The issue seems to be out of the public consciousness in India — all events of extreme importance from religion to finance seem to end up that way. But nothing is going to be as important for all of us as the conclusions that come out of, or get buried in, the London Summit of G20 that begins 18 days from now, on April 2.
Blog post on Cuting the Edge