Global Economic Leadership and the Group of Seven

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Sluggish global growth, frequent currency crises, huge trade imbalances and the Mexican financial collapse all reveal the failure of the Group of Seven industrial nations to provide effective leadership of the world economy. The G-7 has played this role effectively in the past and must do so again to assure global prosperity.

Part of the G-7's decline is due to continuing policy differences among the United States, Germany, and Japan. The bigger problem, however, is a new "consensus for inaction" based on fears of trying to counter the huge flows of international private capital, the existence of large budget deficits everywhere, and the resistance of central banks to coordination by anyone.

The study offers a comprehensive analysis of all these changes in the world economy and reaches a much more optimistic reading of the prospects for effective G-7 leadership. It proposes an action program that includes reforming the exchange rate regime, instituting an early warning system to prevent new monetary crises, augmenting the resources of the IMF to deal with private capital flows, and institutional reform of the G-7 itself.

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Editorial Reviews

Sanywell (sociology, U. of York, England) continues his investigation into the origins of western thought and presuppositions by analyzing the formation of ancient Greek philosophy from the end of the Archaic epoch to the first decades of the Greek enlightenment. Each chapter is a case study of a particular discursive innovator in the language of philosophical speculation. Among them are Thales, Anaximander, Aniximenes, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, and the beginnings of Greek atomism with Empedicles and Anaxagoras. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881322187
  • Publisher: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 167
  • Product dimensions: 6.11 (w) x 9.17 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Acknowledgments xv
1 Summary and Conclusions 1
2 The Role and Record of the G-7 13
The G-7 as an Institution 13
The Responsibilities of the G-7 15
Past Successes 20
3 The Decline of the G-7 27
World Growth and Stability 27
Exchange Rates 30
International Imbalances 34
External Relations 35
The International Economic System 39
The Legitimacy of the G-7 43
The Bottom Line 49
4 The Sources of G-7 Decline: Traditional Tensions 55
Growth vs. Stability 55
Surplus vs. Deficit Countries 59
Globalism vs. Regionalism 68
The Politics of the G-7 73
A Summing Up 80
5 The Sources of G-7 Decline: The New Consensus 83
The Immobilization of Fiscal Policy 86
The Primacy of the Central Banks 87
The Growth and Spread of Private Capital Flows 89
The Downgrading of the IMF 91
The Abdication of Responsibility 92
6 Reviving the G-7 97
Resolving the Traditional Differences 97
Immobilization of Fiscal Policy and Coordination of Monetary Policy 100
The Role of the Central Banks 109
Coping with Private Capital Movements 112
The Bureaucratic Politics of Monetary Reform 117
A Summing Up 120
7 An Action Program 123
A New Exchange Rate Regime 124
Avoiding "Future Mexicos" 134
Enhancing the Legitimacy of the G-7 138
Conclusion 140
Appendix A International Economic Coordination 143
References 149
Index 158
Box 1.1 International Economic Organizations 2
Box 2.1 The Three Groups 16
Box 2.2 The General Arrangements to Borrow 22
Table 3.1a G-7 share of world merchandise exports, 1950-94 45
Table 3.1b G-7 share of world merchandise imports, 1950-94 45
Table 3.2 Share of G-5 currencies in world foreign exchange reserves, 1973-94 46
Table 3.3 Shares of major currencies in world private transactions 46
Table 3.4 G-7 share of total international monetary reserves, 1973-95 47
Table 3.5 G-7 share of total IMF quotas, 1950-95 47
Table 7.1 G-7 performance on proposed cooperation criteria, 1995-97 132
Figure 2.1 G-7 share of gross world output, 1960-94 17
Figure 3.1 Yen per dollar, 4 January 1988 through 22 April 1996 31
Figure 3.2 Monthly real trade-weighted dollar exchange rate against 101 trading partners, January 1988-December 1995 49
Figure 3.3 Monthly real trade-weighted dollar exchange rate versus other G-7 countries, January 1988-November 1995 50
Figure 4.1 United States: current account and merchandise trade balance, 1970-95 60
Figure 4.2 Germany: current account and merchandise trade balance, 1970-95 60
Figure 4.3 Japan: current account and merchandise trade balance, 1970-95 61
Figure 4.4 United Kingdom: current account and merchandise trade balance, 1970-95 61
Figure 4.5 France: current account and merchandise trade balance, 1970-95 62
Figure 4.6 Italy: current account and merchandise trade balance, 1970-95 62
Figure 4.7 EU, Japan, and US: trade in goods and services, 1960-94 64
Figure 4.8 Current account surpluses by country share, 1994 66
Figure 7.1 Deutsche marks per dollar, 4 January 1988 through 22 April 1996 125
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