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Who's in Charge of Fixing the World's Financial System? The Un[?]der-Appreciated Lead Role of the G20 and the FSB

69 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2013 Last revised: 24 Apr 2014

Daniel E. Nolle

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

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Date Written: November 14, 2013


Many financial and economic professionals are under-appreciative (and some, possibly, unaware) of what is stated in the second part of this paper's title: the biggest players in "fixing" the global financial system are the Group of Twenty (G20) largest and most powerful economic and financial nations, and the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the G20's main financial system reform policy-making agent. This paper explains the nature of the G20's leadership role by presenting a stylized history of that group's emergence, assisted by the FSB, as the "premier forum" in reform of the global financial system. The paper begins with a brief explanation of what the G20 and FSB are, highlighting basic information on their membership composition and missions, and their relative financial "heft" in the global economy. Focusing on the major statements, declarations, and communiqués from G20 Leaders' Summits beginning in late-2008 at the depth of the global financial crisis, the paper describes the rapid emergence of the G20 as the pre-eminent global financial system policy-making entity. That description shows how, over the turbulent 2008-2009 period, the G20, with the aid of the newly-created FSB, established the core elements of what remains "the" global financial system reform agenda. The study then turns to the subsequent evolution of that agenda over 2010-2012, when substantial, but uneven, progress was made in achieving major objectives. The paper concludes with a summary of the status of the G20/FSB financial system reform agenda in the aftermath of the September 2013 Leaders' Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, an event that in a sense marked the 5-year "anniversary" of the "Lehman Brothers moment" and the full eruption of the global financial crisis in September 2008.

Suggested Citation

Nolle, Daniel E., Who's in Charge of Fixing the World's Financial System? The Un[?]der-Appreciated Lead Role of the G20 and the FSB (November 14, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Daniel Nolle (Contact Author)

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ( email )

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Washington, DC 20024
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202-649-5504 (Phone)

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