Thursday, 2 April 2009

***LIVE FROM G20 SUMMIT AT EXCEL***

Well, security is thorough. The world's media is creeping into place and world leaders are arriving. I did my first interview this morning while simultaneously negotiating my way through security. Hopefully, it made sense.

But the real question at the back of my mind this morning is what is the consequence of failure today? This is simply the question, 'what is this conference for?' in reverse? And when you consider it, actually the consequences of the leaders failing to show unity, instill confidence, and mapping out a different way of managing global finance today are enormous. What would it say about the capacity of the world's leaders to find a way out of the morass if they come up with either no agreement or a weak agreement today? Not a lot.

Despite the histrionics, President Sarkozy knows this as do all the other world's leaders. It would be amazing if he did walk away- it would be a short walk into the wilderness. So there has to be a degree of optimism that the G20 will do the right thing today.

In fact, if the draft G20 communique leaked to the FT is any indication of what will emerge at 3.30 pm today then today will be a success. It's not perfect but seems pretty meaty on further development on international regulation, clamping down on hedge funds, irresponsible banking, and tax havens (see draft clause 17!) but will need to be rather more expressive on the need to move towards a global deal on climate change with teeth and should be a lot more expressive on help to developing countries: provision of both capital and aid. The draft communique will have been completely re-written from the one that was leaked to the FT: the language clearer and the message sharper. But if that is the basis then today's meeting is starting from a good place.

So good prospects for today. I'll blog as much as seems worthwhile and see who we get to talk to. If there's anything you want covered just get in touch- try twitter @anthonypainter.

*Picture courtesy of @tom_watson.

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