In a few days time CIGI ’12 will be held in Waterloo. While the topics cover a wide range of governance issues, it is clear that international governance questions (notably in the financial sphere) will play an important part. At the risk of neglecting some of the governance challenges facing the international community, it is worth devoting a little space to how developments in Europe are coloring the global community’s ability to deal with the many other economic governance problems it faces.
Former UN Under-Secretary General José Antonio Ocampo to deliver keynote at CIGI conference on financial crisis
Does the world really have a monetary system – or not? “The Global Monetary Non-system” is the provocative title of a public keynote address to be delivered in Waterloo by José Antonio Ocampo, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and formerly Colombia’s Minister of Finance and Public Credit.
“It can be difficult to be in a group with a rising economic power like Brazil [that] can be self-centred in its pursuit of its agenda,” says Bessma Momani, commenting on a reshuffling of the lenders' board of directors at the International Monetary Fund.
If the data are mixed, then one can readily understand why the C.D. Howe’s Monetary Policy Council (MPC), on which I sit, has been divided of late. Some see the near future — the MPC provides a one year ahead interest rate track — as requiring a further tightening of monetary policy while others, myself included, see the future in bleaker terms.
At the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group annual meetings in Tokyo, the European economic crisis was never off the agenda and often took centre stage in panel discussions. Now adding this issue to another IMF report on how much fiscal adjustment is too much, we saw a very exciting and relevant debate that meeting participants will not soon forget.
“The world got the impression that this archipelago had been fried by radiation and it wasn’t safe to go,” says CIGI Senior Fellow Paul Blustein. "People landing in Tokyo may be shocked to see just how comfortable and well-to-do this place really is.”
“There is no going back to protectionism,” Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Canada Zhang Junsai said in his address at CIGI.
At the IMF and World Bank Group annual meetings in Tokyo, CIGI in cooperation with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs held an important session on “Facilitating International Adjustment through Timely Debt Resolution.” The panelists were a who's who of practitioners, academics and IMF representatives. While no consensus was reached on what is the right balance between austerity and growth in sovereign debt restructuring, the timing of the panel couldn't be more relevant.
"Beijing still needs to look carefully at the limits of key European states in backing such mechanisms and then determine how much support it is willing to give," says CIGI Senior Fellow and China Research Chair Gregory Chin, commenting on the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism.