The Group of Thirty, often abbreviated to G30, is an international body of leading financiers and academics which aims to deepen understanding of economic and financial issues and to examine consequences of decisions made in the public and private sectors related to these issues. Topical areas within the interest of the group include:
The group consists of thirty members and includes the heads of major private banks and central banks, as well as members from academia and international institutions. It holds two full meetings each year and also organises seminars, symposia, and study groups. It is based in Washington, D.C.
The Group of Thirty was founded in 1978 by Geoffrey Bell at the initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation, which also provided initial funding for the body. Its first chairman was Johannes Witteveen, the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Its current chairman of trustees is Paul Volcker.
The Bellagio Group, formed by Austrian economist Fritz Machlup, was the immediate predecessor to the Group of Thirty. It first met in 1963, to investigate international currency problems, particularly the balance of payments crisis which America faced throughout the early 1960's.
The Group of Thirty establishes study groups to analyze issues of particular or systemic importance to the global financial markets. Study group membership is typically broader than that of the G30, comprising experts in the specific field from the regulatory, financial and academic communities, and chaired by a leading figure. Currently the Group of Thirty’s Work Program is focused on financial regulatory systems.
In 2007, The G30 established the Financial Regulatory Systems Working Group to address the large changes in the world of financial reviews, including institutional reorganization, in light of the rapid evolution of international financial markets, which raises questions about the organization of supervision and regulation. Finding that regulators are seeking optimal organization of supervisory tasks as the markets change in their nature and complexity, the working group seeks to shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of different types of regulatory systems in place in major markets. The project looks at the three main regulatory structures adopted: integrated single financial regulator, the functional approach, and the institutional or sector-by-sector approach. The Working Group is reviewing the national regulatory systems used in 20 key markets, which have been selected according to their size and importance to the global financial system. The markets included are: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Mexico, the Netherlands, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The Working Group is drawing upon factual research material on each country’s supervisory structure and the role of each national financial agency to demonstrate trends, issues and developments in financial regulatory systems. The final report of the Working Group will be published in 2008.
Reinsurance and International Financial Markets was organized by the Group of Thirty to highlight a number of major issues which have arisen as new players enter the international markets on a substantial scale. The G30 recognized that financial activities formerly undertaken in the separate worlds of banking, securities and insurance today increasingly overlap. Just as dividing lines between commercial and investment banking have become blurred in recent decades, the evolution of derivatives markets has shifted a range of financial risks into the capital markets. They found that the result is that non-bank financial institutions, including reinsurance companies, now play an increasingly important part in the overall redistribution of risk. In the light of these challenges and associated concerns about the stability of the global reinsurance industry, the G30 established a Study Group to explain the nature of the reinsurance sector, delineate good industry practices, and assess the degree to which the reinsurance industry poses a systemic risk to the wider financial system. Where appropriate and, if necessary, the Study Group was asked to make recommendations to address these concerns. In 2006, the G30 released their report on the study, titled Reinsurance and International Financial Markets.
In January 2003 the Group published Global Clearing and Settlement: A Plan of Action, which set out 20 recommendations that constitute a plan of action for global clearing and settlement. In 2006, the G30’s Global Monitoring Committee met again to monitor the progress of the 20 recommendations. Global Clearing and Settlement: Final Monitoring Report identifies places where progress is being made as well as areas where little or no progress is apparent. The G30 concludes that a great deal has already been achieved, but many recommendations require further work. The report notes that the clearing and settlement objectives and goals set out only three years ago remain achievable and, in many cases, are already being progressively implemented. It underscores that the improved infrastructure that would result from full implementation of the G30 recommendations would help enhance confidence in the markets themselves and ensure that the vision of a safer, more efficient global clearing and settlement system can be brought to fruition.
The Group of Thirty’s groundbreaking work on derivatives, Derivatives: Practices and Principles, published in 1993 was commissioned in the 1990s just as the use derivatives grew and began to move into the mainstream of finance. It was based on wide ranging survey of the industry. At the time many, both inside and outside of the financial industry, were uncomfortable with derivatives activity. They saw it as complex and obscure, potentially subject to abuse that might lead to the failure of individual firms or even to a crisis in the financial system. The G30’s final report, Derivatives: Practices and Principles, recognized and addressed these concerns by explaining derivatives and their uses and by formulating and disseminating recommendations about their proper management. It is still widely read today, often being used as a textbook for students of accounting and finance and market practitioners, due to its relatively plain language. It gives a comprehensive explanation of what derivatives are, the needs they serve, their risks, and their relationship to traditional financial instruments.
The G30 also produces over 75 publications and a number of reports on various other topics including:
Some recent publications released by the G30 are
The current members of the Group of Thirty are:
Other former members include:
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