Finance Minister Bill Morneau debuts on the international stage this weekend. He and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz will be in Shanghai for the first gathering this year of senior officials from the Group of 20 economic powers. Morneau could shine in the role. He will be able to say that the government he serves intends to be part of the solution to a stronger global economy. That by itself should be enough to garner rave reviews, as most of the others at the gathering having shown they are capable of nothing but dud performances.
There were high hopes for the G20 when President Barack Obama declared at a summit in Pittsburgh in 2009 that the group would thenceforth be the guardian of the global economy, replacing the smaller Group of Seven industrial nations. The larger assembly of rich countries such as Germany and big emerging markets such as China did good work during the financial crisis. It organized a global spending spree that reversed the Great Recession and it put the screws to the world’s too-big-to-fail banks.
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