Advertisement
Features

What’s the point of the G20?

The recently concluded gathering of world leaders increasingly looks like a talking shop.

925-G20-634
G20: more vital than ever

The latest G20 meeting of world leaders has just concluded, but what exactly is the point of it? It increasingly looks "like a talking shop in which the meetings that really matter are between the G2 of the US and China", says Jonathan Wheatley in the Financial Times. Its "glaringly unrepresentative" membership means it can neither address "macroeconomic imbalances" in Turkey and Argentina, nor the problems in emerging markets generally, which have the potential to "develop into the kind of systemic threat that led to the G20's foundation".

Advertisement - Article continues below

But the G20 has achieved many things, says The Japan Times. During the financial crisis it was successful "in averting trade wars and capital outflows" and "successfully co-ordinated large stimulus packages and regulated financial markets". It has helped to bring about a profit-shifting initiative to prevent the erosion of national tax bases. And it has become the most visible forum for accommodating rising powers such as China, Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa, in a way that the IMF or World Bank were unable or unwilling to do.

Even if it "has never managed to fulfil the high expectations thrust upon it", the G20's role "has never seemed more vital", agrees The Times. It is the only global gathering other than the UN General Assembly that brings together the world's leading powers. This matters. Bilateral dealmaking is important, but it can "never be a guarantor of global stability". If the world is to emerge from this period of geopolitical volatility, a "new consensus on the primacy of robust global rules needs to be established" and "the G20 remains the best hope for delivering that".

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

How long can the good times roll?
Economy

How long can the good times roll?

Despite all the doom and gloom that has dominated our headlines for most of 2019, Britain and most of the rest of the developing world is currently en…
19 Dec 2019
The charts that matter: precious metals, longevity and a cure for baldness
Global Economy

The charts that matter: precious metals, longevity and a cure for baldness

As the gold price presses on to new highs, John Stepek looks at he charts that matter most to the global economy.
8 Aug 2020
South Africa faces a big economic storm
Emerging markets

South Africa faces a big economic storm

Recession hit South Africa has been the fifth-worst hit country in the world measured by the number of coronavirus cases. The local stockmarket has so…
7 Aug 2020
Is the bond market wrong about inflation?
Government bonds

Is the bond market wrong about inflation?

The bond rally suggests that markets are sanguine about inflation, but the gold rally suggests inflation is a real threat.
7 Aug 2020

Most Popular

Eagle Lightweight GT: the reincarnation of the E-type Jag
Toys and gadgets

Eagle Lightweight GT: the reincarnation of the E-type Jag

Jaguar’s classic E-type sports car has been reinvented for the modern age. The result – the Eagle Lightweight GT – is a thing of beauty.
7 Aug 2020
Platinum: the precious metal that looks set to play catch-up with silver and gold
Silver and other precious metals

Platinum: the precious metal that looks set to play catch-up with silver and gold

Gold and silver continue to soar, but there's still time to get in. And there's another precious metal that looks set to go on a bull run too, says Jo…
7 Aug 2020
Don’t despair on dividends – these companies could be set to bring them back
Income investing

Don’t despair on dividends – these companies could be set to bring them back

The value of dividends paid out by UK stocks has plummeted this year as companies “rebase” their payment policies. But things could soon start to look…
6 Aug 2020