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Warwick Commission to examine International Financial Reform

The Second Warwick Commission is to meet for the first time on 29th January as it begins work into the examination of international financial reform in light of the present financial crisis.

Composed of respected practitioners and scholars in international and domestic finance, governance and political economy, the Commission will consider how talk of ‘international financial architecture’ appears out of touch with market realities.

Such architecture, they believe, is blind to differences in how the real economy and international finance are linked, non-representative of new financial powers, and removed from development concerns, aspects which must all be addressed in any future reform.

The Commission think the problem is in fact a lack of analysis and information on the key obstacles to cooperation and will look at how possible it is to move beyond questions of architecture to forge a new international consensus that is inclusive for OECD, Emerging Market Economies and Frontier Economies alike.

Over the following months the Commission will hold sessions and meetings in Warwick, London, Berlin and Brussels and consult important stakeholders in targeted workshops with practitioners, academics and relevant NGOs before presenting their final report in Istanbul in October.

The Commission is chaired by Avinash Persaud, chairman of Intelligent Capital Limited, and the Director of Studies is Professor Leonard Seabrooke, incoming director, Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation and professor in International Political Economy, Department of Politics and International Studies.

The First Warwick Commission looked at the way forward for the Multilateral Trade Regime and was launched at the World Trade Organisation in Geneva in December 2007 following a ten month study by 18 commissioners from around the world. Their recommendations were incorporated in the biggest review of Australian trade policy in almost twenty years.

They called for an end to the reliance on consensus decision-making in future negotiations; a bigger role for the World Trade Organization in the delivery of Aid for Trade to developing countries; escalating financial compensation as a means to resolve some trade disputes and a high level 'reflection exercise' on the future of the trade system by the members of the WTO.