New World Order

Step aside, Yanks. Crisis-hit finance officials abroad want to lay down a new set of rules

Illustration by Harry Campbell for TIME

In recent weeks, the world has been politely standing by and watching how things play out with the fiscal stimulus and latest bank-bailout plans in Washington. Yes, there's been some grumbling overseas about "buy American" provisions in the stimulus bill, but for the most part, officials elsewhere don't want to step on the toes of a new President to whom they are favorably disposed. They also don't want to endanger legislation that they hope will help jump-start the global economy.

Just wait a couple of months, though. Politicians from Beijing to Berlin to Brasília see the current crisis as the product...