|Zzzzz...Barack yaps too much...will set things straight in WaPo...zzzzz...|
The historical reinvention he is attempting to make this time around concerns what I've mentioned above--use of the American bully pulpit. In decades past, American influence in international finance usually involved the Bretton Woods institutions--the World Bank and IMF--serving this purpose as the world's largest development lender and lender of last resort, respectively. Very oddly, he claims that the United States' loss of face as a result of so-called allies rushing to be charter members of China's newfangled Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was avoidable:
But I can think of no event since Bretton Woods comparable to the combination of China's effort to establish a major new institution and the failure of the United States to persuade dozens of its traditional allies, starting with Britain, to stay out.
This failure of strategy and tactics was a long time coming, and it should lead to a comprehensive review of the U.S. approach to global economics. With China's economic size rivaling that of the United States and emerging markets accounting for at least half of world output, the global economic architecture needs substantial adjustment. Political pressures from all sides in the United States have rendered the architecture increasingly dysfunctional.
Largely because of resistance from the right, the United States stands alone in the world in failing to approve International Monetary Fund governance reforms that Washington itself pushed for in 2009. By supplementing IMF resources, this change would have bolstered confidence in the global economy. More important, it would come closer to giving countries such as China and India a share of IMF votes commensurate with their increased economic heft.
At the same time, pressures from the left have led to pervasive restrictions on the infrastructure projects financed through the existing development banks — which consequently have receded as infrastructure funders, even as many developing countries have come to see infrastructure finance as their principal external funding need.
It was not so long ago. I remember and do not forget.