What Is the Group Of 30?

The Group of Thirty, generally abbreviated to G30, is a group composed of academic economists and representatives of national, regional, and central banks who meet in order to generate greater understanding of financial and economic issues in the private and public sectors world wide.

Understanding the G30

Founded in 1978 by Geoffrey Bell under directive and initial funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, the G30 meets twice yearly in Washington, D.C. to discuss issues such as foreign exchange, capital markets, central banks and macroeconomic issues like global production and labor. An international body, present members, and alumni reads like a who’s who of international finance, economics, and also academic viewpoints on the issues of the global economy. Its first chairman was Johannes Witteveen, the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, while economist Paul Volcker is a Chairman Emeritus of the group.

While understanding the depth of economic theory that members are fluent in makes their articles and reports outside the interest of most of the general public, some notable reports that have had an impact include an article they released on derivatives. At the time, many people were skeptical of using derivatives due to lack of understanding and the complexity of derivatives, such as forwards, futures, options, swaps, and other market products that arise on performance on time with a stock or security.

Though the group meets twice a year, the G30 also organizes study groups and seminars based on topics of mutual interest to its membership, and its former founder Geoffrey Bell is now the Executive Secretary of the Group of Thirty. Prior to the existence of the Group of Thirty, similar aims in understanding economic issues and crisis was sought by an organization called the Bellagio Group, which formed in the 1960s to address international currency issue and the balance of payments crisis which the United States faced at that time.

As of 2016, the current chairman of the Group of 30 is Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a Singaporean economist and politician.  Shanmugaratnam is the first Asian to hold the post, which has a five-year term.