Nearly half a decade after the start of the global economic crisis, the international monetary system remains in turmoil. This working paper provides a broad overview of challenges facing the monetary system today, with particular emphasis on problems most directly relevant to the interests of the BRICS (Brazil, Russian Federation, India, [People’s Republic of] China and South Africa) and Asian nations.

The central challenge is governance — the formulation, implementation, and enforcement of norms for behaviour — in short, the rules of the game. The governance challenge, in turn, may be decomposed into four critical elements: adjustment, liquidity, confidence and leadership. In discussing recent developments and future prospects for each of these four elements, the paper highlights implications for the BRICS and Asia.

Part of Series

The BRICS and Asia, Currency Internationalization and International Monetary Reform

In December 2012, the Asian Development Bank, CIGI and the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research co-hosted a conference in Hong Kong, China. The papers in this series, authored by esteemed academic and policy experts, were presented at the conference and were subsequently revised. These working papers are being published simultaneously by all three partners.

About the Author

Benjamin J. Cohen is Louis G. Lancaster Professor of International Political Economy at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he has been a member of the Political Science Department since 1991.