Rebalancing is a phrase that has lost none of its pungency at meetings of the Group of Twenty (G-20) countries. Nearly a year after it was first broached, the idea is not worth the discussion papers that are circulated at such meetings.
If anything, a lack of progress and interest in the subject—the US and China apart—is fast turning the G-20 into another fractious and difficult to manage multilateral forum.
The recently concluded meeting of top officials at Nanjing in China saw the reiteration of the same, hard-held, positions: the US wanting flexible exchange rates and China resisting such an “imposition”.
Was G-20 the wrong forum to address the “rebalancing” issue? The thought is worrisome. For if the matter is to be raised in an institutional setting—where it rightly belongs—then there is hardly any other place that can match the economic and political punch and dexterity of the G-20.