Tuesday, March 24, 2009

8 days to G20: it’s raining recommendations — 101 and counting

Speaking only of official recommendations — that is, suggestions made by governments or regulators of G20 and not think tanks or economists — I have with me a master list that has crossed a century. Taking the 126 page The Turner Review, published by UK’s Financial Services Authority on March 18, 2009, which adds 32 of its own (listed at the bottom of this post), the total number of sovereign suggestions stands at 101 — and counting. Here’s the timeline.
First came the November 15, 2008 Washington Declaration that listed out six broad policy responses, five common principles of reform and request to the G20 finance ministers to formulate six additional recommendations. The rather overstated “action plan to implement principles for reform” had 47 — repeat forty-seven — recommendations.
Then came the communiqué that the finance ministers put together on March 14, 2009. “We agreed further action to restore global growth and support lending, and reforms to strengthen the global financial system,” the communiqué stated. All told, eight new “further actions” were suggested across two themes — restoring global growth and strengthening the financial system.
The March 19, 2009 leak of Macroeconomic Stability and Financial Regulation: Key Issues for the G20 — the final report of the first of the three working groups set up before the G20 meet — to breakingviews.com followed next. This contains 24 recommendations, which while put together the various issues that leaders of G20 will be confronting in the April 2, 2009 meeting, have accountability missing.
And now, The Turner Review — a product of FSA chairman Lord Turner who was asked by the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer to review the events that led to the financial crisis and to recommend reforms — which has been critiqued by some economists who call it “flawed”.

Blog post on Cutting the Edge

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