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Who's in charge here?

Who's in charge here? Philippe Wojazer/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Philippe Wojazer/Getty Images

We used to talk about the G-7 — the world's seven biggest economic powerhouses. Every so often, the leaders of the G-7 countries would get together and hash out the important issues facing the global economy.

That grew to become the G-20, which included big players in the developing world (China, India, Brazil). In the heat of the financial crisis, the G-20 made a good show of cooperation.

But as the crisis has faded, so has the cooperation. What's left is a world where there's no clear economic leadership. That creates a new set of problems, David Gordon says on today's Planet Money.

Gordon, research director at the consulting firm Eurasia Group, calls this new world "G-Zero."

Here's how Eurasia Group explains G-Zero in its recent report, Top Risks 2011:

In the G-Zero, the world's major powers set aside aspirations for global leadership—alone, coordinated, or otherwise—and look primarily inward for their policy priorities. Key institutions that provide global governance become arenas not for collaboration but for confrontation. Global economic growth and efficiency is reduced as a result.

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