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The G-20 dines a lot, but it doesn’t make progress

Niall Ferguson

By Niall Ferguson (original source The Boston Globe)

“At the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the delegates danced almost as much as they negotiated. As the Prince de Ligne put it: “The Congress dances a lot, but it doesn’t make progress.”

The dancing was a distraction. What mattered was that the monarchs of Europe — or, to be precise, their ministers — established a new order in Europe. After the upheavals of the French Revolution and Napoleon’s short-lived and unruly empire, five great powers combined to limit the threats posed to monarchy and aristocracy by liberalism and nationalism.”

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