The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

G20 and the UN

Live from “Making the Case for Global Economic Governance”, a Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Munk School of Global Affairs sponsored pre G20 conference here in Toronto.

Speaking now is Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations, and facilitated by Chrystia Freeland, Global Editor at Large, Thompson Reuters.  His role is the link on economic affairs between the G20 and the UN.  [Note Paul Martin remains in the audience listening.]

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Broadly he is making the case that the thing to be feared is deflation, and that the amount of stimulus that has occurred is significantly short of what should have happened.  He references Africa quite frequently and I infer that the additional stimulus he proposes should largely be directed at Africa. 

Q&A:

Chrystia:  how do you reconcile the size of G20 and the countries that are excluded.  Jomo:  Some see the UN as the bridge to the rest of the world.There is a ‘grudging’ acceptance of the G20 as a reasonable balance of size and ability to get decisions made quickly.  However there is a sense that the G20 has not accomplished much since the London meeting. 

Audience:  Question on the level of debt (personal, corporate, government) in the world, that needs to be addressed since it has ballooned to something over 300% of GDP.  Its a disaster waiting to happen.  [Great question.]   Jomo:  the closest forum is the FSB and the Basle committee.  Does not really have answer other than blaming derivatives.  Now he is blaming alarmist discussion on the impacts of debt.  He specifically mentions that private debt and public debt are not the same [huh?]

Chrystia:  stimulus or consolidation:  Jomo;  dodged this too.  Somehow he is back on to helping farmers in Africa.  [he must work for the UN]

Written by Colin Henderson

June 23, 2010 at 12:51

Posted in Uncategorized

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