G-20: Likely long on rhetoric, short on detail

It was six years ago in London that the 'G-movement' had its finest hour. It was in London's Docklands that I first saw the new American President in the flesh saying how the world's leaders had come together to avert a financial cataclysm threatening the global economy.

I even got a question in to the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at what was the biggest press conference I had ever seen with thousands of journalists assembled. It was all in all an impressive performance from G-20 which pulled off a level of coordination that was unprecedented and unfortunately has yet to be repeated as we lurch from one crisis to another all these years later.

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Four years ago in Cannes, France and two years ago in St Petersburg, Russia, I attended meetings which promised so much and which, I am afraid to say, have delivered so little in the way of a coordinated economic game plan. The G-20 though is not alone among groups in the 'G-movement'. Both the G-8 and now the Russia-less G-7 have both underwhelmed. High on ambition, high on promises but low on delivery is the sad truth about G communiques.

This year's presidency, held by Turkey, was always going to be a near mission impossible on delivery. Quite apart from all the current issues blighting world growth and markets, quite apart from Turkey's own domestic political, social and economic woes, Turkey was quite simply sold a pup so to speak.

You see, last year's G-20 presidency was held by Australia and it was in Brisbane last year that Tony Abbott and the rest of the world's leaders put together a communique that was so ambitious, that was so lofty in its goals, that would be so difficult to deliver that it made Greece's stern bailout conditionality look like child's play.

To recap, the Brisbane communique promised an EXTRA 2 percent growth to the world by 2018, it promised 800 measures, it promised $2 TRILLION being added to the global economy and it talked of adding millions of new jobs and a whole lot more. In short it promised the world and then left the Turks to get on with making sure it worked out alright.

The IMF is in charge of monitoring the progress individual nations make in doing their bit for this grand design and yet there was never going to be a coordinated effort here. The cunning part of the Brisbane plan was always that every nation could get to its goals its own way.

Spin forward to this week's meeting in the Turkish capital Ankara and there is a palpable sense of fear that things are going from mediocre to pretty badly in the world economy. The major concern, unlike the Istanbul finance ministers and central bankers meeting I attended in February where Greece was the hot topic de jour, is a slightly larger country - China.

In advance of the meeting the U.S. and the Japanese have been talking of the need for China to reassure the world that it knows what it is doing, that it has things under control and that it would be rather nice if they could let us know with just a little more clarity when they are about to make new policy announcements.

Read MoreGlobal leaders meet...but China not on the communique

In addition, Madame Lagarde of the IMF has been warning major countries to hold off on hasty rate hikes. With all due respect to Mr Carney and the Bank of England, this message was clearly aimed at the U.S. Federal Reserve. Seems the IMF just wanted to reinforce the message that the financial markets had been hinting at over the past week or so - even one teeny weeny little rate hike these days could have enormous market, and possible economic consequences.

All in all, the communiques at both this week's meet in Ankara and the November Heads of State in Antalya are going to have to be carefully crafted works of art. My biggest fear is that they will be long on rhetoric and short on detail.

Indeed, just today G-20 sources told me (not unsurprisingly) there would be no criticism -- or even mention of -- China specifically in the draft communique.

Whatever comes out of the meeting, global leaders will undoubtedly try and give the impression they have a plan no matter how far-fetched it is because if the world's markets get a sniff that there is no plan, that things are being made up on the hoof and that things are slipping out of control, we could be in for an interesting ride.

Just one more thing of note. Do you know which country takes on the G20 Presidency next year? China, that's who. Now things could really get interesting in Turkey ahead of the baton change, especially if some of those countries getting worried about China's economy begin to get publicly critical.