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Time & Temperature in Doha

The New World Order: the Global Economy after the Crisis/// Former US commerce official seeks change at IMF, World Bank
by mobin pandit

DOHA: Institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) need to change in conjunction with G20 to address today╝s social and economic woes, a former US junior secretary said here yesterday. Speaking at the Doha Forum, John Sullivan, former Deputy Secretary of the US Commerce Department, said the problems developing and poor countries face had not been addressed so far.

The role of the US, the world╝s largest economy, should be to include these countries into the global economic system and surrender some of its authority as part of a reform of the global financial system.

ôThe US has the capacity to surrender some of its powers. It has been done in the past,╜ Sullivan suggested. Staggering poverty and hunger in some of the less privileged counties were leading to stability problems, he added underlining the need for a new world economic order. Speaking on ╗The New World Order: the Global Economy after the Economic Crisis╝, he said institutions like the WB and IMF had evolved over time but needed reform in conjunction with G20 to be able to be fully capable of confronting the challenges facing the world.

Sketching their history from 1944, he said, making a case for their reform, that these institutions had changed dramatically over time to play their roles in an ever-changing global environment and (G7 and later) G8 had itself been superseded by G20 now.

The post-lunch session on the second day of Doha Forum was moderated by Cornelia Meyer, international energy expert, and other panelists included Baroness Valerie Amos, from the House of Lords, Dr Fawaz Alamy, from Saudi Arabia, Alexander Dynkin, international relations expert from Russia, and Tmoharu Washio, international affairs expert from Japan. Vast and emerging economies China and India were, on the other hand, seen by Dynkin as ╗giant deflationary machines╝ which were ╗invented╝ by globalization since they led to low labor costs in consumer goods (China) and services (India). The current crisis was unprecedented, he said and criticized the IMF for not being able to either see it brewing or even fathom its causes when it blew. 

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