From their pre-meeting, it is reasonably clear what Europeans (except probably the British) want from the G20 summit on Saturday: a road map towards a great deal more regulation, together with agreement that the necessary powers and resources will be provided to implement these new rules at some international level (which could be the IMF or the Financial Stability Forum or the G20, or some combination).
And the Europeans are now apparently saying, on the sidelines, that victory – and a concrete action plan – is within their grasp. This, of course, raises our expectations and makes us more prone to disappointment. The White House, on the other hand, has been trying to manage our (and the Europeans’) expectations downwards.
While we are waiting to learn the outcome of what is probably still a fairly intense conversation, here is a (relevant) pop quiz.
Below is the list of locations for press conferences to be held by participating countries after the conclusion of the summit, kindly provided by Planet Money. The question is: which of these countries is not actually a member of the G20? (Answer after the jump)
European Union & France — Willard Hotel
Japan — National Press Club
Italy — Embassy
Australia — National Building Museum
United Kingdon— Ambasssador’s residence
Canada — Embassy
Germany— Ritz carlton Georgetown
South Africa — Park Hyatt Hotel
South Korea –Paloma Hotel
Argentina — Park Hyatt Hotel
Mexico — Embassy of Mexico
Spain — Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Russia — The Washington Club
The answer is: Spain. If someone can explain to me how exactly they got invited, I would be grateful. The most plausible explanation is that they are representing the European Union. But if that is the case, why are they having a separate press conference?
This is relevant to the bigger questions of the day, because part of the issue with regard to global governance/regulation (e.g., at and around the IMF) is the overrepresentation of smaller European countries. If the G20 will be the vehicle for moving forward a reform agenda, is it better or worse to have many small European voices at the table?