Chris Van Es

New Rules for Finance At Last

The G-20 must recognize that new rules for financial markets are just as important as fiscal stimulus measures in combating the global economic crisis. It would be counterproductive to focus only on the treatment of the symptoms and realize later that the unprecedented budgets for structural policies are neither economically efficient nor politically acceptable.

PARIS – The World Monetary and Economic Conference took place in London 76 years ago, in June 1933, with 66 countries meeting to put an end to the unfolding monetary disorder and trade wars while trying to draw the lessons of the Great Depression. When it was over, the negotiators admitted failure.

On April 2, 2009, world leaders will head to London again to find a solution to a financial and economic crisis as dire as that of 1929. We cannot let history repeat itself. If collective inaction prevails, we risk a return to the political and economic woes of the 1930’s, which paved the way to a devastating world conflict.

Of course, we must respond to both the weakening economy and financial instability in a virtual state of emergency. This is why stimulus packages and financial rescue plans were for the first time adopted concomitantly in Europe, the United States, and some large Asian countries.

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