From the G20 in Pittsburgh

I am in Pittsburgh, at the G20 Summit which begins shortly.  The G-20 is a meeting of the Group of Twenty (G-20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of “systemically important industrialized and developing economies to discuss key issues in the global economy.”  This is quickly becoming the main economic forum for world leaders, replacing the G7, G8 etc., and including countries like Brazil, Mexico, Turkey and others that were not part of such meetings previously.

The main issues at this summit are:

  • Economic restructuring to prevent another collapse, including
    regulation of banks, with banker pay a key component of what other
    countries are identifying as a problem,
  • Trade imbalances,
  • Climate issues,
  • Jobs.

The city is actually very quiet so far, with most businesses closed, and all roads closed to traffic.  The bridges into the city are also closed to vehicles.  There is a several-block security perimeter around the convention center, consisting of a security fence and literally thousands of police and military.

So far there have been a few demonstrations.  People from Burma and Ethiopia marched.  Later a large demonstration by Tibetans.  There were four or five guys with a big sign about making week legal, and doing some serious shouting…  But the event really kicks off later when the President and First Lady welcome the delegations to Pittsburgh in a special ceremony.  Tomorrow is a day of meetings and demonstrations.

I’ll put up a post covering some of the issues next.