Toward a New Financial Architecture for a Globalized World
  • 1 0000000404811396 Monetary Fund


The Group of Seven/Group of Eight Summit will be held in Birmingham next week. High on the Summit agenda will be the issue of how to renovate the architecture of the international financial system in the face of the tremendous changes under way in the global economy. The Asian crisis has been so unexpected in many of its aspects, so broad, so cruel in its human consequences that—even before the crisis has run its full course—the leaders of the world want to embark on the design of a new architecture. This is certainly the right thing to do, and the venue of this meeting could hardly be more fitting. Like many other cities in advanced countries, Birmingham has experienced the forces of change in the global economy firsthand—from the loss of traditional industries to the challenge of finding new employment opportunities. Moreover, two centuries ago, this city was at the heart of the Industrial Revolution, an era that, like our own, was a time of extremely rapid change. At that time, intellectuals of all schools of thought used to meet frequently in Birmingham—every full moon, I understand—and bring their reflections to bear on the challenges of their new world. This was the so-called Lunar Society, which included such personalities as Matthew Boulton, James Watt, Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles), and William Small—a friend of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, all with wide-ranging interests, all sharing a sense of optimism and responsibility for building a better world. Imagine what a blessing it would be if the G-7/G-8—our new Birmingham group—were to be inspired by such an example when dealing with their pressing agenda!