The current global financial and economic crisis resulted from the failure of major economies and global institutions to recognize and address, in a meaningful way, emerging fault lines in global financial markets and global institutions. The crisis brought to light long-standing weaknesses in the global system for economic and financial cooperation, providing opportunities for reform. No single country has the ability or resources to fix things on its own — a near-unprecedented degree of collective action is required. The agenda for reform to promote greater economic cooperation, including reform of the international financial institutions, has been laid out many times, but the commitment of G20 leaders appears to have faltered, leading this author to suggest that in the event of another crisis, G20 countries would have only themselves to blame.

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CIGI Papers present in-depth analysis and discussion on governance-related subjects. They include policy papers that present CIGI experts' positions or contributions to policy debates, and background papers that contain research findings, insights and data that contribute to the development of policy positions.
  • Thomas A. Bernes is a CIGI Distinguished Fellow. After a distinguished career in the Canadian public service and at leading international economic institutions, Tom was CIGI’s executive director from 2009 to 2012. He has held high-level positions at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Government of Canada. He became a distinguished fellow in 2012.