In Which I Think Andrew Samwick Misses the Point...

Spinning the Wheels

I think that if the G-20 summit was worthwhile, it was the conversations that were not part of the formal summit that were worthwhile--and I do not know what they were.

I do know that Dani Rodrik is disappointed:

Dani Rodrik's weblog: I was not expecting any substantial agreement on international regulatory coordination or any semblance of a new Bretton Woods, so I am not disappointed on that score.  What I was looking for were three things: (i) coordination on fiscal stimulus; (ii) a commitment to provide more liquidity support, as needed, to prevent a further spread of the crisis to emerging nations; and (iii) a clear commitment not to engage in trade protection, with a monitoring mechanism to ensure the pledge is being observed.

How does the statement do in these regards?  So-so.  There is no coordination in the fiscal arena, the promises made to emerging markets are vague, and even though there is a clear statement on protection and export subsidization, there is no monitoring or enforcement mechanism.

What about the longer-term issues? The fundamental dilemma of financial globalization is that regulation and supervision remains national while financial markets are international.  The statement recognizes this dilemma...