What’s changed after the London Summit?
Philip Stephens, writing in the Financial Times, shares the commonly held view that the London Summit went further than most people expected, but not far enough. Viewed from a year ago, what is in the London communique is astounding – not in terms of the specific measures proposed (although they are evidence enough that a lot has changed – regulating hedge funds, cracking down on tax havens etc), but in the assessment of the world and what can and needs to be done. His assessment was more positive than his colleague Wolfgang Munchau, writing a few days later, although he also acknowledged that the summit had moved us forward (his main concern was about recapitalising the banks). But generally, the summit does seem to have been positively received (although Nigel Stanley is absolutely right that this does rather depend on your perspective, more than on what the summit communique actually says). We need to make sure, however, that this is not just a one off, and that the progress will be sustained. Many people now recall that the Bretton Woods institutions were designed 15 whole years after the Wall Street crash. There is an awful lot more to do.