Monday, January 26, 2009

GAL at the World Economic Forum?

An interesting short post over at the Guardian politics blog on the forthcoming World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, entitled "shaping the post-crisis world". Under normal circumstances, the glitzy, invitation-only event might not seem to be a particularly promising place to be looking for improvements in increased participation, transparency and accountability; as the Guardian post points out, however, these are not normal circumstances:

Last year's co-chairman of the forum, the Indian software tycoon B Ramalinga Raju, was arrested earlier this month in connection with allegations that company accounts were falsified. And among the names on the steering committee for the WEF's keynote report on economic prospects was the Merrill Lynch chief executive, John Thain, who resigned last week – shortly after his stricken bank was taken over by Bank of America – amid allegations of hiring celebrity decorators to revamp his office at a cost of $1.2m (£880,000).

The mighty are definitely fallen, and Davos will be debating how hard they should be kicked: the future of international banking regulation is expected to be the dominant theme...

If a new economic world order is going to be built from the ruins, the horse-trading will not come until later – starting with the meeting of the G20 industrialised nations in April – but the foundations could well be worked out here. Even the major corporate delegates are talking about the need for tighter regulation, more transparency and accountability.

As always, it remains a case of waiting-and-seeing for the time being; but this is, once again, yet more proof that the demand for GAL - in some form - is increasing across the fields of global governance, and amongst all of the various actors involved.

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