Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Christine La Garde makes plea for global cooperation in London

Speaking at the Richard Dimbleby lecture in London, IMF head Christine Lagarde called for "a new multilateralism for the 21st Century". She made a plea for global institutions to come together to solve world problems.

We have noted that if major changes are coming in the global monetary system they will probably come from institutions like the IMF where many stakeholders can meet and talk. So anything Ms. Lagarde says about the future of the system is relevant and important for inclusion on this blog.

Here are some quotes that may suggest this power struggle we have mentioned on this blog is real and she wants to urge everyone to look past their own self interests. Obviously, this is easier said than done and her comments will create a lot of debate I am sure. Here are the quotes:

"I have talked tonight about the main pressure points that will dominate the global economy in the years to come—the tension between coming together and drifting apart; and the tension between staying strong and slowing down. I have talked about pressures that would have seemed familiar a century ago, and some that are entirely new."

Now, how do we manage these pressure points? Where are the solutions?

Overcoming the first tension really boils down to a simple question: do we cooperate as a global family or do we confront each other across the trenches of insularity? Are we friends or are we foes? Overcoming the second tension requires us to face common threats that are not bound by borders. Do we face adversity together, or do we build yet more borders and Maginot Lines that will be mere illusionary protections?

The response to both tensions is therefore the same: a renewed commitment to international cooperation; to putting global interest above self-interest; to multilateralism.

As Martin Luther King once said, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

"Now it is our turn—to pave the way for the next generation. Are we up to the challenge? Our future depends on the answer to that question."

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