As the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank approach, I remember vividly the exceptional collective awakening that took hold of this same gathering five years ago. Hundreds of officials from around the world came to the joint and simultaneous realisation that the global economy they inhabited was on the verge of falling into an abyss.
This collective “intervention” led to unusually candid policy conversations, common analysis and admirable policy co-operation. It culminated six months later in the highly-actionable London Group of 20 Summit. There, the world’s major economic powers agreed on co-ordinated fiscal and monetary policies that helped to sidestep a very costly global depression. Hundreds of millions of people consequently avoided devastating poverty and misery. Continue reading »