Leaders from around the world will descend on Washington this weekend for the biggest financial summit in decades. Some countries, particularly in Europe, have been more transparent than others in talking about their agendas. Here is a breakdown of who will attend, the state of their economies and their expected agendas for the summit. - Michael Rosenwald
|Argentina||Market performance: |
|Who is coming: President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner |
Economic fallout: The country’s private pension system has suffered heavy losses in the crisis, and the government is working to take it over. Argentina is in an even tougher credit environment than most after defaulting earlier this decade. The country is facing huge debt payments next year and does not yet have the funds to cover them.
|Australia||Market performance: |
S&P ASX 200
|Who is coming: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd |
Economic fallout: Global demand for commodities has slipped, and that hurts Australia. China, in particular, is a big importer of Australian commodities, so a slowdown there could make things even worse for Australia. The country largely survived the Asian financial crisis, but many economists say the first Australian recession in nearly two decades is a strong possibility.
|Brazil||Market performance: |
Ibovespa - Bovespa Index
|Who is coming: President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva |
Economic fallout: The country’s currency is sliding faster and faster downhill. Consumer confidence is shattered, and sales are down for products ranging from cars to appliances. Plantings of soybeans, a key export, are also down, reflecting weaker world demand.
Priorities for summit: Like other developing countries, Brazil wants greater influence over what happens to the world economy. Restructuring the World Bank and IMF is likely a priority, too.
|Britain||Market performance: |
|Who is coming: Prime Minister Gordon Brown |
Economic fallout: The economy shrank in the third quarter. Spending has slowed dramatically. Economists predict the country’s unemployment rate could top 7 percent next year. As in the United States, the housing market has collapsed.
Priorities for summit: The British want a panel of regulators to oversee the world’s top 30 banks. They also want to strengthen the Financial Stability Forum, created after the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s.
|Canada||Market performance: |
Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index
|Who is coming: Prime Minister Stephen Harper |
Economic fallout: Canada’s housing market and consumer confidence have taken heavy hits, though not nearly as bad as in many other countries. The IMF predicts Canada will be the only G-7 country to record economic growth this year, though that growth will be very modest.
|China||Market performance: |
Hang Sang Index
|Who is coming: President Hu Jintao |
Economic fallout: Slowing demand for Chinese products has led to rising unemployment and factory closings. The country only recently admitted it was having problems, unveiling a $586 billion stimulus package.
Priorities for summit: China has been cautious. While open to idea of more regulation and willing to talk about it, it doesn’t want to stifle innovation and investment.
|France||Market performance: |
|Who is coming: President Nicolas Sarkozy |
Economic fallout: France had been expecting GDP growth of 1 percent in 2009, but the country recently slashed that forecast to between 0.2 and 0.5 percent. The country has its shares of automobile-related problems, too: Renault and Peugeot have both closed plants and laid off workers due to slowing demand.
Priorities for summit: France wants more government control, across borders, over lending and investing and hedge funds. France also wants a new regulatory body.
|Germany||Market performance: |
|Who is coming: Chancellor Angela Merkel |
Economic fallout: Though German officials are bracing for the economy to contract, they were surprised to find recently that investor confidence, while still negative, is actually improving, perhaps because interest rate cuts are taking hold and lending is easing. Also, the country’s cabinet recently approved a $64.2 stimulus package
Priorities for summit: Germany wants a “constitution” that governs financial markets. It also wants regulation of hedge funds, as well as a plan to strengthen the IMF to guard world financial stability.
|India||Market performance: |
|Who is coming: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh |
Economic fallout: While India has grown rapidly in recent years, the IMF recently slashed its growth forecast by .6 percent. The IMF now expects India’s economy to grow by 6.3 percent.
|Indonesia||Market performance: |
|Who is coming: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono |
Economic fallout: Like India, Indonesia is also growing rapidly, though the government recently cut growth forecasts to 5 percent – a 1 percent cut – as demand for exports slows with the global economy. Indonesia is highly dependent on the economic recoveries of the United States and Europe.
|Italy||Market performance: |
|Who is coming: Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi |
Economic fallout: Italian businesses face a slowdown and the number of jobless is rising. Still, the country has a lot going for it – namely, no Italian banks have failed. The country’s banking system avoided the risky financial instruments that have sunk other economies.
Priorities for summit: Italy would like to see some action on trade and currency imbalances.
|Japan||Market performance: |
|Who is coming: Prime Minister Tara Aso |
Economic fallout: Japan is on the knife edge of its first recession in six years. Toyota and Canon – two of Japan’s biggest companies – have drastically cut profit forecasts. The country depends heavily on exports to fuel its economy, and with demand for the country’s products dropping, so too is the economy.
Priorities for summit: Japan wants regulation of financial institutions and credit rating agencies, as well as standardized international accounting rules.
|Mexico||Market performance: |
|Who is coming: President Felipe Calderon |
Economic fallout: The economy is slowing while inflation is soaring – it recently hit a seven-year high. The price of oil, a key Mexican export, is also falling, as is demand from the United States. Fitch Ratings recently lowered the country’s credit rating outlook to negative from stable.
Priorities for summit: Mexico is seeking tougher regulations to safeguard against too much financial speculation. It also wants a global stimulus package, not a piecemeal one.
|Russia||Market performance: |
|Who is coming: President Dmitry Medvedev |
Economic fallout: Russia’s stock market has been one of the most volatile in the world, with trading halted numerous times because of a continued downward spiral. The value of the ruble is crumbling. And citizens are panicking that the country’s oil-infused economic boom is now over.
|Saudi Arabia||Market performance: |
|Who is coming: King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz |
Economic fallout: The country’s economy is simple: As oil prices go, so does Saudi Arabia. With demand falling, the country is cutting output.
|South Africa||Market performance: |
|Who is coming: President Kgalema Motlanthe |
Economic fallout: Like other developing economies, South Africa’s credit rating outlook was recently lowered by Fitch from stable to negative. Retail sales are falling and cement makers are reporting lower volumes. South Africa is catching up to the slowdown around the world.
|South Korea||Market performance: |
|Who is coming: President Lee Myung-Bak |
Economic fallout: South Koreans worry that the Asian slump experienced a decade ago could be returning. People are especially concerned that U.S. demand for the country’s exports is slipping. South Korea’s credit rating has also been downgraded.
|Turkey||Market performance: |
|Who is coming: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan |
Economic fallout: Senior European Union officials recently declared that Turkey’s economy was performing well in the face of a global slowdown. Even still, the country’s stock market is tanking.
|United States||Market performance: |
Dow Jones industrial average
|Who is coming: President Bush |
Economic fallout: A lot of everything – subprime mortgage mess, credit squeeze, falling stock prices, soaring unemployment, dwindling consumer confidence. A deep and long recession is seen as likely.
Priorities for summit: The Bush administration has somewhat resisted the more draconian regulation favored by Europe. It has resisted taking any immediate action and would prefer to instead set up global working groups to decide on action.
SOURCES: Staff reports, wire services | The Washington Post, November 13, 2008