The results shall be used to determine our focus topics at Atlantic-community.org and will be taken into consideration at Atlantic Review as well. You can choose up to three policy areas from these options and you can suggest alternatives in the comment section:
• Strengthen counter-proliferation efforts. • End Iran's nuclear program. • Modernize the international trade order. • Reduce carbon-emissions. • Turn Russia into a strategic partner. • Define NATO's security role for the 21st century. • Improve "burden-sharing" in Iraq and Afghanistan. • Integrate China into the international order.
The economy should be at the top of the agenda. International financial institutions should be reformed along the lines [url=http://euobserver.com/9/27373]Merkel and Sarkozy[/url] have proposed. Stimulus plans have to be coordinated to prevent trade wars, and bailout / nationalisation plans for banks have to be coordinated in order not to afflict an unmanagable crash upon one another.
Changes to the trade and currency system are secondary issues.
An "international financial regulator" is a cruel joke.
None of our current, national financial regulators anticipated the current crisis (there were exceptions who tried to sound the alarm, but they were ignored or even attacked by their fellow regulators and by politicians). The crisis was discovered by unregulated hedge fund managers and other, unregulated [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrarian]contrarians[/url], acting out of enlightened self-interest. It was not the regulators but the unregulated financial press that made the crisis widely known.
Even now, none of our national regulators seem to have a clue what to do to get us out of it. Coordinating policy, in that context, means nothing more than covering each other's back sides to avoid embarrasment and unemployment.
What earthly reason do we have to believe that an international body would do better? Its the myth of the magical, all-knowing philosopher-king, if only we would give him more power...
And to mention, as Sarko and Merkel did, that it should be based on something like the United Nations is beyond cruel. The United Nations, which for example, has done so well running the economy of the Palestinian refugee camps all these years.
As to preventing trade wars, I am wholly in favor of that, but I don't see how UN-style organizations can help, since as a rule, they don't believe in free trade.
As to coordinating national policies to avoid beggar-thy-neighbor, I am in favor of voluntary coordination, but we can use mechanisms like the G7. We don't need the UN anywhere near that. Seriously: UN accounting standards (Gee, how much cash do we have on hand today? We'll form a committee. If they get it wrong, they can spend the excess) vs. G7 international accounting standards. No contest.
The G7 should be expanded to include rising powers like like China, India and Brazil, while excluding soon-bankrupt, commodity-based oligarchies who have nothing to contribute.