Bush Invites G-20 to Meet in Washington

Though we’re apparently starting to get past the initial rush of rescue measures on the credit crisis, the global coordination efforts might be getting bigger. This morning, White House press secretary Dana Perino announced that President Bush has invited the leaders of the Group of 20 industrial countries to meet in Washington on Nov. 15 for the first of a series of summits that will address the troubled financial markets and the global economy. Today’s news, rather quickly, the President’s announcement last Saturday that such a summit would be arranged. Bush at that time was beginning a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Sarkozy had previously called for an overhaul of the international financial structure that had been established in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference. According to Perino, the finance ministers, central bank governors and others at the summit “will review progress being made to address the current financial crisis, advance a common understanding of its causes, and, in order to avoid a repetition, agree on a common set of principles for reform of the regulatory and institutional regimes for the world’s financial sectors.” Perino also noted that the White House will seek input from the winner of the Nov. 4 presidential election. On another tack, Perino expressly kept expectations for the summit low, emphasizing that this initial summit will focus on forming working groups, and not on actually formulating new policies. She also pointed out that the summiteers will bring diverse agendas and approaches to the meeting. The G-20 nations are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the European Union as an additional member. The managing director of the International Monetary Fund, the president of the World Bank and the United Nations Secretary-General have also been invited to the Nov. 15 summit. The G-20 finance process was established in 1999, in response to global financial concerns at that time.