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Prospects for the Meeting
of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors,
November 8-9, Sao Paulo, Brazil

John Kirton
Director, G20 Research Group
Sao Paulo, November 8, 2008

The Significance of the Event

On the weekend of November 8-9, 2008, the finance ministers and central bank governors of the world’s 20 most systematically significant countries gathered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the tenth of their regular annual meetings. This gathering promised to be an exceptionally significant event in both of the dimensions that this two meetings-in-one had become.

In the first dimension, the regular G20 meeting, with its long scheduled and carefully prepared agenda, had become extraordinarily timely and important amidst the global financial-turned-economic crisis ravaging most of the world. The G20’s core agenda items of fiscal policies to stimulate economic growth, public-sector spending efficiency and social inclusion had now assumed centre stage as had competition in the international financial system. The other core issues on its built-in agenda — commodity markets, conventional clean energy and biofuels — remained relevant as well. The crisis had also made the G20’s core mission of securing financial stability as centrally relevant as it was when the group was first founded in 1999 in response to the Asian-turned-global crisis that ripped through the world then. Created as a club of 20 equal, established and emerging economies representing the most capability and diversity in the world, its rapidly rising emerging economies — led by China — now had the resources, experience and sense of inclusion to help rescue the reeling established economies, led by America, where the current crisis began. That the G20 was now the right and necessary forum to shape an effective global response was dramatically signalled in Washington DC on the evening of Saturday, October 11, 2008, when U.S. president George W. Bush left the comfort of the White House to participate in the G20’s first ever emergency meeting, held at the broadly multilateral International Monetary Fund (IMF) and chaired by Guido Mantega, Brazil’s finance minister. At the meeting the president acknowledged that he and they were all in this crisis together and needed to work together through the G20 to get it solved.

In the second dimension of the November 8-9 G20 meeting, its participants were called upon to prepare the first G20 leaders summit ever held. It will take place in Washington on November 14-15, 2008, and will be chaired by George Bush himself. It will be the first G20 meeting at any political level chaired by the United States. It thus confirms Bush’s recognition of the reality that a new G20-governed world has arrived. The choice of the G20 as the club to craft a response to the crisis signaled that the old G8, even with its newer Group of Five (G5) partners of China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa, was no longer enough. As long recognized by Canada’s Paul Martin, the pioneer of the regional G20 in 1999 and the visionary architect of its new leaders-level (L20) companion in 2008, a new generation of powers and their leaders needed to take centre stage. They will now do so, in the first of a series of G20 summits that will continue for some time, perhaps for decades, to come. The next installment could come in Paris sometime between February and April 2009, just after America’s new president Barack Obama has been safely installed. The G20 officials and perhaps finance ministers and central bank governors will assemble again in Washington on November 13 to further prepare for that summit, and thus hold their third meeting in just over one month. The G20 summit of 2008 thus gave the G20 finance ministers forum of 1999 new importance and life.

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The Agenda

The agenda of the November 8-9 meeting had understandably been adjusted to add this second dimension and give it appropriate place (see Appendix A). While a few worried that the made-in-America financial and economic crisis might hijack Brazil’s carefully prepared, all-G20 agenda, there were several reasons why this was not the case. The G20’s core mission is securing financial stability in the face of crisis. Brazil’s core theme of economic growth had assumed top spot in the world’s concern, as the preoccupation with the financial crisis has diminished over the few weeks before the meeting, to be replaced by the plummeting economic growth it had caused around the world. Moreover, the G20 meetings on November 13 meant that the full burden of preparing for the G20 summit will not fall on the ministers and bankers in Brazil.

The focus for the Sao Paulo meeting was the current global economic crisis, the policy responses thus far and the solutions still to be devised. To the existing agenda was added the recent crisis in the credit market and financial sector as a whole. This new theme of “financial stability and the world economy” thus began with a consideration of the causes of the crisis and its contagion. It then proceeded through the effectiveness of the policy measures already taken, the impacts of financial market stress on developing countries, preventive measures to be taken at present and later, and prospects for the future. It sought to fine-tune the agenda for the summit and further reduce the initial differences in approaches among the Europeans, North Americans, Asians and the emerging economies beyond. This cluster, if done right, would buy enough time for the November 14-15 leaders summit to take up the broader issues of financial system reform.

The Sao Paulo meeting would, however, provide a down payment on one key component of this systematic agenda. Building on its past success in fostering consensus to reform the “voice and vote” at the IMF and the World Bank, the G20 members would discuss further reform of these Bretton Woods bodies, with the latter’s top officials there in the room. The Brazilian push to increase the place and power of emerging and developing countries in their decision-making process would match the mood of the majority of participants and the needs of the world outside. The meeting would also deal, from its built-in agenda, with competition in the financial sector, clean energy and global markets, and fiscal policies for growth and social inclusion.

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The Participants

The participants at the Sao Paulo meeting both showed its significance and supported its prospects for success. In comparison with such gatherings over the past decade, this one featured a minimally adequate if very light slate of finance ministers, but most central bank governors, from the member states. Those who came, came despite their dense schedule of other meetings — including in the European Union in Belgium on November 4, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Peru on November 5-6 and a deputy finance ministers meeting, with the possibility of it escalating to the finance minister level, in Washington four days later on November 13. The accumulated experience the participants brought was solid, with a few of the members, such as Trevor Manuel of South Africa, coming continuously since the G20 started in 1999 to cope with the global crisis then. While the chair of the current gathering, Brazil’s Guido Mantega, had less global experience, recognition and respect than Manuel, he brought the experience of chairing the G20’s first emergency meeting on October 11, and doing it reasonably well (see Appendix B).

Among the participants several handicaps did arise. The first came from the two biggest economies, America and Japan, where treasury secretary Henry Paulson and finance minister Shoichi Nakagawa did not attend the meeting. Paulson sent David McCormick in his stead. As planning the agenda for the Washington meeting next week was a major part of the Sao Paulo agenda, Paulson’s absence was a substantial handicap. No one from president-elect Obama’s economic team travelled to Brazil. The second came from China and Korea. The latter’s demanding legislature forced its finance minister to stay to answer questions at home. This was a particularly unfortunate loss as the G20 now governed by a troika of past, present and future chairs, had chosen South Korea, to chair in 2010. It would thus assume leadership responsibilities alongside Brazil of 2008 and Britain of 2009 as soon as January 1, 2009. Virtually no one expected the current financial and economic crisis to be gone by that time.

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The Positions

The outcome of the Sao Paulo meeting depended critically on whether the major members could come to greater consensus on both the agenda and approach for the larger task their leaders will take up on November 14-15. The Sao Paulo G20 was the first inning of the much larger and longer game, far more than was the October 11 emergency meeting. While the differences among the key players narrowed in the weeks leading up to Sao Paulo, the differences remained well defined and wide.

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America’s Go Slow, Go Long, Go Limited, Go Light

The major players at the summit have had — and will have — distinctly different approaches to this summit and its successors, as well as its agenda and architecture. At one end of the spectrum stands the first summit’s host, the United States of outgoing President George Bush. Its approach, in brief, is go slow, go long, go limited and go light, following the work started in the spring by the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) .

The major players at the summit have had — and still have — distinctly different approaches to this summit and its successors, as well as its agenda and architecture. At one end of the spectrum stands the first summit’s host, the United States of outgoing President George Bush. Its approach, in brief, is go slow, go long, go limited and go light, following the work started in the spring by the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) (see Appendix C).

Go slow includes having this summit at an early stage, well before President Bush leaves office, but importantly after it was known who the next president will be. It further means having this summit as the first of several in a series. The purpose of this first summit will thus be primarily to agree principles on an agenda and the mandate for several new working groups that will be established to report back to subsequent gatherings, some of which need not be held at the leaders level itself or as special stand-alone summits, separate from the G8 ones already in store. A few quick actions were also in store.

Here the U.S. was largely making a virtue of necessity — the logistical burden in organizing an unprecedented summit of 20 leaders, the need to associate in some way the next president’s administration with its agenda and basic American approach, the immediate need to create confidence in still fragile financial, economic and political markets, and the recognition that crisis management, prevention and system reform would take much more than one meeting to get right.

Go long gives President Elect Obama, his administration and Congress time to get installed in office, organized to run the government and devise effective American strategy and positions and conduct the necessary diplomacy deliver to a successful result (see Appendix D and Appendix E. . This likely involves a process longer than a year, and perhaps much longer should the immediate crisis and its window of opportunity diminish and another political-security crisis take its place. Here there are several opportunities for American unilateralism — such as a second stimulus package before or after Obama took office on January 20, more interest rate reductions, home mortgage bailouts — to reduce the incentive to look at international co-operation as the first and fundamental response. Timing depends in part on who the new treasury secretary is, with Larry Summers, Robert Rubin under President Obama allowing for faster movement than many other appointees would. Moreover, Obama does not bring any particular expertise, experience or interest in financial and economic matters into the White House, and thus will take some time to get up to speed. Since the crisis started in America, and is still hitting hard there Obama has a particular incentive to get it done right rather than get it done fast.

Go limited reinforces this go long approach. America’s preferred agenda is less comprehensive than those of other G8 and G20 partners and the global community as a whole. America wants to focus narrowly on stopping the current financial crisis, preventing a rollback or return, identifying the causes of it and its contagion for these purposes, and combating the economic slowdown that it has brought. It initially showed little enthusiasm for burdening this already formidable agenda with a long list of proposals of things to regulate, or taking up outstanding issues on trade, development and international financial institution (IFI) reform.

Go light means reforming the current system rather than revolutionizing or replacing it as a whole. This involves relying in the first instance on voluntary industry self-regulation and government supervision, rather than government regulation, control or ownership. It also involves staying with essentially national regulation, with appropriate international communication, co-operation and co-ordination, rather than leaping into any internationally harmonized common regulation, let along those controlled by an international regulation beyond the jealously sovereign United States. America’s central purpose is to defend and reinforce market-oriented capitalism, rather than replace it with something new.

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Europe’s Go Fast, Go Short, Go Wide and Go Deep

At the other end of the spectrum among G8 players stands Europe, led by France as a country and as the current chair of the European Union. France is followed in varying degrees by Britain, Germany and Italy. While there are discernable differences within “team Europe,” its general approach is to go fast, go short, go wide and go deep.

Go fast means having the first summit and those following as quickly as possible, so solutions can be found and implemented very soon. French president Nicolas Sarkozy had been calling for a special summit long before the Washington G20 one was announced. Signals leaked from Paris suggested that its successors could come as soon as a week after, or at least immediately after the new U.S. president was installed. The French will push for quick decisions at Washington as well.

Go short means concluding the summit process and the outcomes from it as soon as possible, within a matter of months, not years in the words of German chancellor Angela Merkel. The European fear was that a long delay would lead to the dissipation and distraction of political will and focus, especially as the October 15 high point of financial panic passed into the more familiar economic recession concerns.

Go wide means including a comprehensive range of subjects in the agenda, action plan and agenda, in recognition of the tight interconnection all have. Within the field of finance this included not only key new or problematic components such as hedge funds but the overall financial architecture of global rules and a global regulator as well. The Europeans could easily argue that the G20 finance ministers’ agenda had long embraced a vast range of interrelated issues, from trade and development, through climate change and clean energy to nuclear power and proliferation and terrorist finance.

Go deep means moving as much as possible toward that single set of global rules and single global regulator — a concept comfortable for members of the selectively supranational EU, especially those who had been there since the start and felt they could use the large entity to exert their will on a wider stage. In its most expansive moments Nicolas Sarkozy’s France saw a Bretton Woods II for the 21st century, with a single global market regulatory, Silvio Berlusconi’s Italy wanted hedge funds to be abolished. Others wanted new international authorities to be created, market principles to be modified and major increases in funding for the IMF. The fallback French position was much greater, international regulatory coordination now, to evolve into supranational authorities at a later date.

As the Sao Paulo meeting opened there was consideration trans-Atlantic accommodation, largely brought by European adjustments to the American pole. Thus the Washington summit, and Sao Paulo as a preparatory meeting for it was likely to move toward agreement on the causes of the recent crisis, common principles to avoid a recurrence and a few specific actions such as greater transparency and regulation in financial markets, coverage for credit defaults and perhaps hedge funds.

This was an appropriate balance, as an analytical consensus on where this unprecedented crisis came from was required before principles and policies could be crafted to provide an effective response.

In addition to appropriateness there were several reasons why American minimalism rather than French minimalism was very likely to prevail. First, Europe was badly divided, with none of the old EU members fully with the French. Most of the newer members from central and eastern Europe, cherishing their new freedom from the supranational Soviet Union, were on the minimalist side. And some older EU members, led by Spain, put most of their energy into getting an invitation to the summit rather than engaging in the substance of what it might do.

A second reason was that America had allies from within the G7 club. Neither Japan nor Canada had experienced banking or financial crisis over the past year and thus feel no need to rush into a rapid, revolutionary response. Rather, both had domestic policy models they sought to export. Indeed Japan noted with some satisfaction that its secure banks were now buying up beleaguered American ones.

A third reason was that the non-G7 emerging members of the G20 were as badly divided as the established G7 members were. While Mexico, with some memories of the peso crisis of 1994, had some sympathy for the French approach, the Chinese had virtually none at all. With no financial crisis at home, a single party-run state, and a thousand years of history, they had little reasons to turn any of their authority over domestic finance to a global regulator from outside.

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China as the Critical Swing State

In many ways the key swing state in determining the outcome is China, due to its sheer economic size, rapid and resilient growth, massive foreign exchange reserves of almost US$2 trillion and absence of any real banking crisis or financial system stress at home. Yet it had a strong incentive to act, with its growth projected to drop to as low as 5.8%, its stock market plunging, its factories closing and newly unemployed workers heightening the spectre of social unrest.

China signalled at an early stage that it would actively participate in the Washington summit and would bear its global responsibility, through an announcement by premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday, November 4. Beijing announced the seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) on October 24, Hu had called for enhanced international policy coordination, strengthened cooperation and a common response. At the same time he noted China’s domestic growth contributed to economic growth and financial stability abroad. China alas joined with G7 countries and Switzerland in simultaneous interest rate reductions, although with a degree of coordination apparently less intense than that among the G7 countries themselves. Yet both Hu and Wen noted that keeping its own economy growing was the greatest global contribution China could make, even as G8 leader Gordon Brown identified its foreign exchange reserves as an attractive source of new funding for the IMF. China’s three guiding principles were thus, first, to keep its own house in order; second, contribute to global action; and, third, to join international collective action.

At a November 6 briefing on Hu’s trip to Washington, vice foreign minister He Yafei said China expected a fair, inclusive and efficient international financial system, that China would consult with other participants to this end and would have bilaterals in Washington as well as attend the G20 dinner and meeting itself. China saw the agenda as dealing with the causes of the crisis, evaluating the international response and charting the way ahead for financial supervision and its reform. China’s position centred on three points: all countries should act quickly on financial supervision, confidence and economic growth; reform of the international financial institutions (IFIs) should reflect economic change, improve developing country representation and choose senior officials by fair comparison; and developed countries should consider and help developing countries in their crisis response.

China viewed the Washington meeting as timely, would take a constructive stand and seek to reach consensus on a common response. Because the crisis has had a more serious impact on developing countries, especially the most undeveloped ones, through declining investment and official development assistance (ODA), the developed world should assist them.

Rich countries, the IFIs and the World Bank should help. Yafei said restoring consumer confidence and stabilizing global financial markets were the immediate priorities, while the summit was just the start of a longer process of global financial system reform. The foreign ministry also said the same day that the U.S. should keep its free trade policies intact.

For the Sao Paulo meeting China chose at the last minute not to send its finance minister, Xie Xuren. But in this it was merely following the lead of America, Japan, Germany and Britain. However at the meeting of the finance ministers of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICs) on November 7, it indicated it would contribute more money to the IMF and World Bank, commensurate with the enhanced voice and vote it sought. The direct dollars that Brown sought, the Chinese were now prepared to dispatch.

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The Promising Prelude

On the day before the G20 gathering began, the meeting of two caucus groups suggested that the G20 was headed for success in coming to consensus on many of the core issues it would confront. The first meeting was of the “IBSA” group of India, Brazil and South Africa, with Mexico included as a guest. The second was the first ever formal meeting of the finance ministers of the BRICs — Brazil, Russia, India and China. The BRIC communiqué confirmed their strong support for the work of the advanced economies in the G7 in responding to the current crisis and welcomed the historic G20 summit on November 14-15. It called for many measures at the core of the G7 consensus — international co-ordination, countercyclical policies, regulatory and supervisory reform, transparency, credit access, demand stimulation, capital flows, trade and investment preventing protectionism and concluding the badly overdue Doha Development round. It also emphasized items long accepted by the G20 — employment support, social inclusion, poverty reduction, infrastructure investment, helping low-income countries and reforming the multilateral and financial institutions, inter alia, to give developing countries a greater voice and vote. Their only real demand — to broaden the membership of the Financial Stability Forum — was one the G7 and G20 could find it possible to accept, at least to some degree.

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The Concluding Criteria

As the G20 finance ministers meeting approached its conclusion at noon on Sunday, November 9, its success depended critically on whether it would produce four bold advances as encoded in its communiqué. The first was whether the full G20 and thus its emerging economy members would accept the approach of the G7 and FSF alone to restoring and strengthening financial stability in the face of the crisis still very much at hand. The second was whether the G7 would accept in turn, through the G20 economy, the major emerging economy demands for their expanded participation in the FSF, IMF and World Bank voice and vote, and stronger economic and social protections for the poor, as highlighted by President Lula and delivered Robert Zoellick’s and the G7-controlled World Bank. The third was to present a well-defined pathway for the first G20 summit process and potential new permanent institution that lay beyond. One small but significant step here would be agreeing to strengthen the G20 finance ministers institution itself, by having it become more action oriented, meet more frequently with more influential timing and have a direct role in the G20 summit itself. And the fourth as the IMF and others were urging was an agreement on more fiscal stimulus that would be big, broadly done by several countries and fast in coming, and thus allow President Elect Obama’s priority to be delivered, put pressure on President Bush to do more and, above all, show that China was willing to be the global locomotive growth leader that its economic capabilities now allowed.

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The Concluding Results: A Substantial Success

At the conclusion of the G20 gathering it had made substantial advances in all of its four critical areas, making it one of the most successful G20 meetings ever held. First, the G20 and its emerging members largely endorsed the G7’s approach to reforming the international financial system, adopting most of the principles and half of the actions the FSF had agreed on in its October 10 report. Second, the G7 countries through the G20 accepted most of the emerging countries key demands, as the communiqué declared that “the FSF must expand to a broader membership of emerging economies,” “emerging and developing economies should have greater voice and representation” in the Bretton Woods bodies, and financial stability and global growth had “poverty reduction and social inclusion” as equal priority goals. Third, the G20 welcomed the November 14-15 Leaders Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy as an “important step in enhancing international cooperation,” called for global solutions and principles, pledged its readiness to help in preparation and implementation, and committed to focusing itself on “concrete policy outcomes,” and considering more frequent and well-timed ministerial meetings too. Fourth, the G20 promised “comprehensive, coordinated and timely measures” but endorsed additional fiscal stimulus only for countries where circumstances permitted and with due regard for “fiscal sustainability” over the longer term.

In other useful advances, the G20 in balanced fashion attributed the causes of the crisis to poor market practices, inconsistent government macroeconomic policy and inadequate countries” (as distinct from all the G7 or America alone). It pledged to “work together rot take all necessary actions,” to solve the credit and financial crisis in all its members, and to support employment, to resist trade and investment protectionism and to promptly and ambitiously conclude the World Trade Organization’s Doha development round. It further called for ODA flows to be maintained and for the Bretton Woods bodies to help the poor more and to consider increasing along with and expanded FSF and a stronger G20 to take a leading role.

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Appendix A: Draft Agenda for November 8-9 G20 Meeting

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Appendix B: Experience of the Attendees of the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting, Sao Paulo, November 8-9, 2008


Finance Minister

# of Annual Meetings Attended


Carlos Fernández



Wayne Swan



Guido Mantega



James Flaherty



Li Yong[a]


Christine Lagarde



Jörg Asmussen[a]


Shri Palaniappan Chidambaram



Sri Mulyani Indrawati



Vittorio Grilli[a]


Norio Mitsuya[a]


Shin Je-yoon[a]


Alejandro Werner[a]


Alexei Kudrin


Saudi Arabia

Sulaiman Al-Turki[a]

South Africa

Trevor Manuel



Mehmet Simsek[a]


United Kingdom

Stephen Timms[a]

United States

David McCormick[a]




Notes: The EU is not included as to avoid double counting the French representative, as France holds the presidency of the European Council in November 2008.
[a] Individual is representing the finance minister for that country and is not included in the average.

Full List of Participants

Minister: Carlos Fernandez
Sherpa: Herman Lorenzino
Governor: Martin Redrado
Sherpa: Jorge Carrera

Minister: Wayne Swan
Sherpa: Mike Callaghan
Governor: Glenn Stevens
Sherpa: Malcolm Edey

Minister: Guido Mantega
Sherpa: Luiz Melin
Governor: Henrique Meirelles
Sherpa: Isac Ferreira

Minister: Jim Flaherty
Sherpa: Tiff Macklem
Governor: Mark Carney
Sherpa: John Murray

Deputy Minister: Li Yong
Sherpa: Chen Shixin
Governor: Zhou Xiaochuan
Sherpa: Jin Qi

Minister: Christine Lagarde
Sherpa: Marco Buti
Governor: Christian Noyer
Sherpa: Jean-Pierre Landau

Deputy Minister: Jörg Asmussen
Sherpa: Birgit Reichenstein
Governor: Axel Weber
Sherpa: Hermann Remsperger

Minister: P. Chidambaram
Sherpa: Alok Sheel
Deputy Governor: Rakesh Mohan
Sherpa: Munseeh Kapur

Minister: Sri Mulyani Indrawati
Sherpa: Anggito ABimanyu
Deputy Governor: Miranda Goeltom
Sherpa: Enrico Hariantoro

Deputy Minister: Vittorio Grilli
Sherpa: Carlos Monticelli
Governor: Mario Draghi
Sherpa: Giorgio Gomel

Deputy Minister: Norio Mitsuya
Sherpa: Naoyuki Shinohara
Governor: Masaaki Shirakawa
Sherpa: Akinari Horii

Deputy Minister: Je-Yoon Shin
Sherpa: Byoungha Hwang
Governor: Seong Tae Lee
Sherpa: Gwang-Ju Rhee

Deputy Minister: Alejandro Werner
Sherpa: Ricardo Ochoa
Governor: Guillermo Ortiz
Sherpa: Javier Guzman

Minister: Alexei L. Kudrin
Sherpa: Dmitry Pankin
Governor: Sergey M. Ignatiev
Sherpa: Sergey Tatarinov

Saudi Arabia
Deputy Minister: Sulaiman Al-Turki
Sherpa: None
Governor: Hamad Al-Sayari
Sherpa: Abdulrahman Al-Hamidy

South Africa
Minister: Trevor Manuel
Sherpa: Lesetja Kganyago
Governor: TT Mboweni
Sherpa: Renosi Mokate

Minister: Mehmet Simsek
Sherpa: Memduh Akcay
Governor: Durmus Yilmaz
Sherpa: Mehmet Yorukoglu

United Kingdom
Deputy Minister: Stephen Timms
Sherpa: Stephen Pickford
Deputy Governor: Charles Bean
Sherpa: None

United States
Deputy Minister: David McCormick
Sherpa: Mark Sobel
Governor: Ben Bernanke
Sherpa: Nathan Sheets

European Union
Minister: Christine Lagarde
Sherpa: Macro Buti
Deputy Minister: Xavier Musca
Sherpa: Bertrand Dumont
Governor: Jean-Claude Trichet
Sherpa: Frank Moss

International Monetary Fund
Managing Director: Dominique Stauss-Kahn
Sherpa: Reza Moghdam

International Monetary and Finance Committee
Chair: Youssef Boutros-Ghali
Sherpa: Amina Ghanem

World Bank
President: Robert Zoellick
Sherpa: Jeff Lewis



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Appendix C: Priorities for Action on Financial Regulation

From the "Report of the Financial Stability Forum on Enhancing Market and Institutional Resilience: Follow-Up on Implementation," October 10, 2008

Principles (7)

Agencies (12)

A. By 2008 End

B. Additional Issues

C. Accelerated Implementation

D. Additional Calls

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Appendix D: U.S. President Elect Obama’s G20-Related Priorities

A. Financial Regulation

B. Economic Stimulus

C. Financial Support and Subsidies

D. Climate Change and Clean Energy

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Appendix E: President Elect Obama’s International Summit Agenda


Length of Call




10 minutes

Taro Aso

Climate change, North Korea and Afghanistan



Angela Merkel

Financial crisis, climate change, Iran’s nuclear disputes, Afghanistan

United Kingdom


Gordon Brown

Reforming financial system



Nicolas Sarkozy

Reforming financial system



Stephen Harper




Felipe Calderon

Drug smuggling and immigration



Lee Myung-Bak

Financial turmoil and North Korea nuclear disarmament



Kevin Rudd

Global finance crisis and climate change



Moshe Katsav


Source: Yahoo News, November 2008.
Note: Countries listed have engaged in discussions with President Elect Barack Obama.

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