Voices

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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All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes