The annual spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank held in Washington over the weekend comprised the treasurers and central bankers, together with financial experts and analysts, from all the major capitalist economies. However not a single proposal was advanced from this high-level meeting to alleviate, let alone resolve, the mounting problems besetting global capitalism.
The reason is not hard to find. The meetings were dominated by the ongoing disintegration of the very structures of the post-war economic order of which the IMF and the World Bank have constituted two major pillars.
While it was not officially on the agenda, the announcement by China that it had secured the agreement of 57 countries to become founding members of its proposed Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was a hot topic of discussion in the backrooms and corridors, especially at the World Bank.
The IMF and World Bank have been the two most prominent institutions reflecting the economic primacy of the US in the post-war world. But the establishment of the AIIB, and the decision of major economic powers, including Britain, France and Germany, to sign up is an expression of major shifts in the world economy and the position of the US within it.