On a per capita basis, the nation has all the ingredients to be one of the world's most prosperous nations

Lord Malloch-Brown: The fear is that G20 will commit our money but avoid reform

What was an arcane area left to officials to prepare before a G8 summit has suddenly got heads of government's attention. If you think of most of the summits in the past, they showed up a little embarrassedly, almost because they didn't necessarily want to explain to constituencies back home why they were going off on these trips which were often subject to criticism for high living or whatever was supposedly being associated with them. But now suddenly in the run-up to this summit you see a group of world leaders acting as sherpas and using the political platform as they would on a domestic political issue to try and take a position.

Fears of bank exodus sparked by FSA reforms

City bankers fear that regulatory reforms to be revealed by the Financial Services Authority this week could force banks to quit London unless other countries agree to adopt the new standards too.

China's warning to the US: Honour your commitments

Beijing comments fuel fears China could offload its dollar reserves

Larry Summers: Can he make the sums add up?

They don't come much cleverer than Barack Obama's main economic adviser. Now the world waits to see if his ideas are smart enough to save us

Lord Stern on global warming: It's even worse than I thought

Author of definitive report on climate change sounds ominous new warning

'Great Recession' nears as G20 splits

A "Great Recession" was predicted yesterday by the director-general of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The IMF chief explained that the economic data has worsened since January, when the IMF forecast global growth of 0.5 per cent this year, kept positive by relatively bullish performances from emerging nations such as China and India – the advanced economies are already predicted to decline.

World Bank warns on developing countries

Global recession could blow a $700bn hole in developing countries’ abilities to pay for imports and meet debt obligations, the World Bank is warning. With economic activity set to contract worldwide for the first time since World War II, trade forecast for fall at its fastest rate for 80 years, and industrial production set to decline by 15 per cent, emerging economies face major difficulties.

Leading article: We need to support our East European neighbours

Members of the EU must stand together in this economic whirlwind

Douglas Alexander: If we want to help the poorest, the World Bank must be reformed

When the World Bank was established, those countries borrowing substantially from it – the countries of post-war Europe – had a major say in the running of the organisation. Today, in areas ranging from strategy, policy and budget to the detail of operational issues, the voice of the poorest must again be heard. So we look to the London summit in April to recognise the need and agree principles for reform at the World Bank. And alongside the articulation of principles, we need a clear process for putting them into practice.

UK attacks American grip on World Bank

The United States’ stewardship of the World Bank should be ended and the institution given a major overhaul, Douglas Alexander, the International Development Secretary, will say today.

Jeremy Warner: Indian IT takes a further knock

Outlook Recent events have dealt the Indian IT services sector, the subcontinent's biggest industrial success story of recent years, a triple whammy. First there was the meltdown in global financial services, the outsourcing sector's biggest single customer group. Then came the terrorist atrocities in Mumbai. Outsourcing relies heavily on regular, face-to-face contact between contractors. The deliberate targeting of foreigners by terrorists has made some US and European companies wary about the necessary travel to India. Even a year ago, it was virtually impossible to find a room for the night in Bangalore. Today, the hotels are virtually empty.

Professor Sir Alan Walters: Economist and adviser to Margaret Thatcher whose monetarist ideas defined her reign as Prime Minister

Alan Walters' career exemplifies what Hegel called "the cunning of history": accidental and incidental factors interact with "necessity" in unexpected ways to create new, hard realities. Greatness was thrust upon him when Margaret Thatcher, then wrestling with her tangled inheritance of economic chaos as Prime Minister of a government which was not of her mind, decided she needed her own personal economic adviser. She appointed Alan Walters, whom she had met and learned to appreciate some years previously. Walters lived up to the challenge to an extent that few would have predicted. His two-year stint at No 10 added a dimension of economic doctrine, logic and consistency to the largely instinctual Thatcherite canon.

China makes biggest cut in interest rates for 10 years to allay crisis

The Chinese government made its biggest interest rate cut for more than 10 years yesterday in an attempt to weather the global economic storm eroding demand for the country's exports.

The Bottom Billion, By Paul Collier

According to Paul Collier, a former director of development research at the World Bank, the world's poorest people – the bottom billion – are trapped. While most countries appear to be rising out of poverty there remains a group of nations for which change seems impossible. Concentrated in Africa and Central Asia, these nations have seen a decrease in living standards in recent years. The average life expectancy of those living in them is 50 years, rather than 67 as it is in other countries; 14 per cent of children die before their first birthday, as opposed to four per cent elsewhere.

G20 Summit Communiques in full

1. We, the Leaders of the Group of Twenty, held an initial meeting in Washington on November 15, 2008, amid serious challenges to the world economy and financial markets. We are determined to enhance our cooperation and work together to restore global growth and achieve needed reforms in the world's financial systems.

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