March 14th, 2009
11:38 AM GMT
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HORSHAM, England - I am sitting in the press tent at the G20 Finance Ministers, having just watched the "family photo" being taken. (What is the collective noun for such a group? A stimulus  of ministers? - thanks to craigeyles on Twitter for that.  A Recovery of Financiers?)

There are of course actually 26 groups in the room - the IMF, World Bank, ECB all come along, as well as Spain and the Netherlands as the special invitation of the hosts.

Actually there seems to be a great deal more people everywhere, and it is upon their shoulders and those of their political bosses, that rests the future course of this "Great Recession" - a phrase coined this week by the IMF Managing Director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

And I doubt few of them every believed they would find their economies in the horrible position they are today.

Here in the rural West Sussex countryside, at a grand looking country house hotel, they are attempting to sort out the very real differences that exist between them. Despite the world economy facing the first recession since the 1940s, they do not have a common view on how it should be handled.

The U.S. (with the UK in tow) wants other nations to provide greater stimulus packages. The Europeans along with some Asian economies want agreement on better regulation.

Everyone agrees on giving the IMF more money to help bail out distressed countries, but some, like Brazil, will only sign on the dotted line if they get greater power within the Fund.

There is nothing new about any of these issues, positions taken or disagreements, except the seriousness of the situation.

Bob Zoellick the president of the World Bank described the economic conditions this year as "dangerous."

So even though it was all smiles at the group photo taken outside this magnificent period hotel - those inside can't escape the fact that what they are deciding will influence the course of this recession for months to come.

Are they upto the job ? That's a moot question. They are the only ones we've got, so whether we like it or not, our financial future is in their hands



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soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Craig Eyles

    G'day, Mr Quest
    My question is does the G0 have an "umpire" ? It seems that the US,UK & French all want their way, so who's controlling them??
    Thanks.

    March 14, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  2. Nicole

    You do not want to know my honest answer for the first question, no?
    We only saw a few of the faces on TV yesterday, uh, thanks ;)

    I really loved the one Lady that smoked her cigarette on the way to the Hotel and put it out right in front, on the pavement.
    Way to go ;)

    I'm sure Hungary will be happy to hear that many countries love to give more money. Not sure if the whole thing is smart though, looking around on what's going on here.

    I'll just sit and wait what they come up with.

    Easy for me since I don't "belong" to any country at all right now.
    Thank goodness.

    ;) Nicole

    March 14, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  3. Aleksandar

    Time relationship of people money Bank Country exchange rate other Country Bank money people direction is available to change ?

    March 14, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  4. andrew

    WHO are the G20?

    March 15, 2009 at 4:58 am |
  5. Ranjit Jatar

    The key issue is that while the entire western world has to answer for the misuse of the financial system, the solution too lies in their hands. Let us all concede that.

    However a little known fact is that India has since the post 2004 growth phase of the world economy achieved 9% year on year growths without creating bubbles in its economy. A study by the western media will reveal how wise and prudent policies of the RBI ( Indias Fed) helped to facilitate growth but without allowing greed to create bubbles. Indias real estate for eg grew by 300% between 2004 and early 2008 . However there is absolutely no problem of mortgage redemptions today even though prices have cooled off in 2008/09.

    I would suggest the G20 give Emerging economies like India who are now part of this forum a bigger platform to explain how some of them went about managing growth when the sohisticated western world was creating bubbles? I think that would help find a solution.

    March 15, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  6. OLUGBENGA ADESANYA

    I watch your program with zeal. Let President Obama and the G20 leaders know that this is an opportunity for World leaders to come up with a new Marshal plan. The Bretton woods Institutions need redirection, while the poor nations including Nigeria, are in need of fiscal discipline and sound economic management. Allowing developing nations government to manage funds is akin to throwing high volumes of sand in the ocean. We should sieze this rare chance of a clean break to regrow our planet.
    Lagos- Nigeria

    March 15, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  7. mbelli njah

    this financial crisis is putting everybody into confusion, i have disovered it is rather making fun than being taken serious.i tell all calling themselves the G20 or the G8 or whatever are still talking politics while the poor in the developing countries are getting poorer znd moving from bad to worst.i am a final year engineering student reading electrical engineering defending my professional masters this july but i plan stopping technical education at this level to take a career in finance.my dream is to become the president of the world bank, so that in situations like having faced off and suffering and poverty and having lived in a developing country and knowing what it means to go for a day withour eating, i will get world leaders to talk finance and solutions for all, listen to those in developing and underdeveloped countries who are suffering the most in situations like this inoder to get solutions for all.

    March 15, 2009 at 9:09 pm |
  8. Niket Desai

    Hello Mr. Quest,

    We all are talking about economy crisis all over the world and i am a regular viewer of "Quest Means Business", though i never find any one or even you talking about Indian Economy and Business in India.Is the Indian Economy is gettin affected by Recession ???

    Is India, a member of G20?? if Yes, then what are there point of view and situation on this Crisis???

    Please try to involve some news about Indian Economy so that we can understand the situation of our country though we are not in India now...

    Thank you.....

    March 17, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  9. Peter.M.

    All this money being thrown around in what is thinly disguised as panic by many governments. Most likely a good deal of it won't do much good for some time (if at all). Some of it will work I suppose. I wonder if this is as clever as it gets?.

    March 17, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  10. Michael C. McHugh

    There's no point to continuing the World Bank and IMF at all unless they become more genuinely global institutions, with countries like India, Brazil and South Africa having an equal voice in how they're run. If these organizations cannot serve the needs of the poorer countries, then in my opinion they have failed.

    March 20, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  11. lindagilll

    larry, lighten up america- i thought the show was charming- the president works hard he can go on jay leno. this man is admirable and everyone picks on one thing or the other. i am disabled and i understood what the president was jesting about- his bowling skills. we elected the spirit in this man, he is very humble, loving, and has a gift from god. lighten up – tim shriver shame on you for making a big- big- deal and went on tv for gain- please. i am tired of cable gossip and what do you think? it is all about ratings. ratings. rep. are not planning to get along at all. every touchy person take a breath.

    March 21, 2009 at 1:34 am |
  12. Darren from manchester

    We are now in the midst of the worst recession since the 1980s. Having lived through that time, I remember how brutal it was and how it forced a major but necessary restructuring of the British economy. Though I feel reasonably secure in my job I still feel very uneasy about the future of the nation and its finances both here and in the U.S. This makes me and millions like me uneasy to spend. Its not just those people unable to get credit not spending. At least in the 1980s we had Mrs Thatcher, providing strong determined leadership. Admittedly many lost their jobs during this terrible time but there was at least sence of optimism about the future. That the govt had a clear idea of where it was going and it had a grip on the nations finances. Sadly we have no such figure of Lady Thatchers stature in todays parliament.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:55 am |
  13. Stanislaw Raczynski

    About the crisis.
    1. This crisis is the result of a total lack of knowlege about system dynamics revealed by the dicisionmakers.
    2. Obviously the organizations that went down have been too big to be controlled.
    3. Money injections are perhaps necessary but they can only have a short time insignificant effect, independently on the amount injected. These actions cannot influence on the stability of the whole system. The incrdible ignorance of the directives and governors consists in the believe that such measures can improve the system performance for the long time horizon.
    4. Control theory and computer simulation should be used to analyse the system dynamics. There are some fundamental methods well known in the control theory that allow to stabilize a dynamic system, even if the system is unstable due to its dynamical propertis and structure.

    March 31, 2009 at 5:39 am |
  14. SOULEY from Versailles (France)

    Hello Mr Quest,

    First of all thanks for the opportunity!

    With this global economic downturn, "developped countries" are experiencing just 1/100 of the many hardships third world countries have been experiencing for decades. I'm not personally convinced that once this crisis is over things won't get back just the way they were: delirium of the stock Markets, Wall Street and its immoderate speculations.

    Oil is once again gonna play an important role on getting us in an other mess of the same scale. You know Mr Quest, as long as the USA will be dependent on foreign Oil, an other global crisis is likely to come, sooner than we believe. Problems in the Middle east, Iran, Have often contributed to make things worse as far as oil price is concerned. By installing sustainable peace in those reagions The oil business is gonna become more stable, and so will the markets; hoping on the other hand that world leaders will put on top of their priority lists the issue of alternative energies! Why not holding G20 summits very often with the same zeal as with the G20 on world economy; why not stimulus packages on alternative energies!

    World leaders have joined their hands to give a short term response without attacking the problem at its root.

    I think that the less America and other rich countries will be dependant on foreign oil, the better world economy will be.

    Some People keep saying that this economic downturn began with the mortgage crisis, which is not completly true. This was the last stage of the process.

    If one thing positive should come out of those G20, G8 summits, it would be the fact that they have come to understand that they are responsable for the many miseries hitting poor countries around the world.

    Did they put forwad any packages to help vulnerable countries hit by this crisis they have created?

    The answer is no no no!

    April 11, 2009 at 11:32 pm |
  15. Quest for Richard

    Richard Quest,

    How can I get to you Sir?
    How can get you reed my messages and solutions?

    April 12, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  16. Quest for Richard

    Richard Quest,

    How can I get to you Sir?
    How can I get you reed my messages and solutions?

    http://www.saudisolutions.org/

    April 12, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  17. T.DOT BLONDIE

    TO SIR RICHARD:

    I MISS U ALREADY. U ARE BY FAR THE BEST ON CNN.

    REGARDING PAGE 8 ON SECTION 23
    YOU ARE CORRECT;
    IT'S ALL ABOUT THE GIRLFRIEND NOT THE WIFE

    SIGNED
    T.DOT BLONDIE

    April 12, 2009 at 9:26 pm |
  18. icon downloads

    Very vsluable piece

    October 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm |

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Quest Means Business airs Monday to Friday, 1600 New York and 2100 London, and is hosted by Richard Quest.

 

 

 
 
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