Sunday, October 12th, 2008
Olivia Ward, Toronto Star
October 12, 2008
As G-7 ministers meet amid ‘severe’ financial crisis, emerging markets becoming the world’s creditors
|International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn attends a news conference of the annual IMF-World Bank meeting in Washington, Oct. 11, 2008.|
WASHINGTON—In the dazzling sunshine of the vast International Monetary Fund plaza, dark-suited men and women meet, greet and smile a lot.
There’s little visible evidence that they’re getting together at one of the most critical times in post-World War II history. But the hand-pumping gives way to nail-biting within fortified meeting rooms, encircled by uniformed guards, secret service agents and 1,400 journalists from around the world.
Behind the closed doors, dramatic turnabouts are taking place that may mark the beginning of a new global financial order.
After years of predictable meetings of the wealthy G-7, emerging G-20 and dozens of other developing nations who belong to the IMF, everything is in play. Plans that would have been scoffed at in the past are taking centre stage, and top-tier countries look down the financial pecking order for help.
“This meeting had a sense of gravity,” IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said yesterday after hours of deliberation. “I was at these meetings 10 years ago, and I must say this … was different.”