by Jim Rickards, DailyReckoning:
Since its beginning in 1999, the G20 had been a mere finance ministers’ meeting. But when the Panic of 2008 hit, President George W. Bush and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France were instrumental in changing the G20 to the leaders’ meeting it is today.
The Panic of 2008 was one of the greatest financial catastrophes in history. In the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers collapse in September 2008, attention turned to a previously scheduled G20 meeting of finance ministers in November.
At the time, the G7 was the leading forum for economic coordination, but China was not in the G7 and its help would be needed to bail out the global economy.
Once China was included, the door was open to other large emerging markets economies, such as India and Brazil. The guest list was expanded and the G20 leaders’ summit was born.