Whew! Now we can all take a breather from all this arcane financial regulation talk.
When in the fall of 2008 the G20 was elevated from a quiet gathering of finance ministers to summit status including heads-of-state, it was believed that the authority of political leaders could quickly achieve what had never been quickly achieved before: global standards for financial institutions and cross-border transactions.
This weekend's G20 meeting in Torontostarts the clock on that effort now that President Obama will arrive with financial regulatory overhaul legislation in hand with which to bludgeon other nations into common action.
Few following the legislative debate in the US Congress have considered the global nature of our financial system. Congress itself seemed to write the legislation with a quaint, insular outlook with no consideration of the world beyond our shores. They maintained this outlook despite the international aspects of the financial crisis, and with little regard for how their new regulations will impact the competitive environment for US firms.