It is fitting that the upcoming G-20 summit is being held in Pittsburg, an old industrial center of an advanced industrial country, for the advanced countries have been allowed to set the agenda for strengthening financial systems. Other than schadenfreude, emerging markets have brought little to the table.
The United States is emphasizing higher capital requirements. The Europeans are pushing for reform of compensation practices in the financial sector. While both proposals have merit, whether they will be enough to stabilize our dangerously unstable financial systems is at best dubious.