Each year in Washington DC the International Monetary Fund holds it’s ‘Spring Meetings‘, which according to the institution are designed to ‘bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives, representatives from civil society organizations and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness.’
The event this year spans over seven days beginning on April 8th and culminating on the 14th. Sandwiched between these dates are a planned European Council meeting on Brexit set for April 10th, and April 12th when Britain is due to leave the EU if parliament has failed to ratify a withdrawal agreement or a way forward.
The European Council meeting is seen as the last opportunity for the UK to request a further extension to Article 50. If by this point the UK cannot present a reason to extend i.e. a second referendum, the UK would formally be preparing to leave the EU with no agreement on the 12th.
Over the past two and a half years I have regularly cited how before the original Brexit referendum took place in 2016, central bankers were gathering in Basel for the Bank for International Settlement’s annual conference. A similar situation occurred months later on the night Donald Trump was chosen as the next U.S. President, when the BIS held its Sixth Joint Public Investors Conference in Washington DC, in conjunction with the World Bank and the Bank of Canada.
Now we have another example of central bankers coming together in the one place, this time amidst the possibility of the UK departing the EU with no deal. Participants in the Spring Meetings will include IMF head Christine Lagarde and Bank of England governor Mark Carney. Carney is due to take part in a session called ‘Managing Capital Flows: What is the Right Policy Mix?‘, on April 12th.
This is not necessarily an indication of an impending shock to the global economy. Two years ago these same meetings took place during the first round of the French presidential elections, in which Emmanuel Macron defeated Marine Le Pen. Nevertheless, the decision by the EU to only extend Article 50 for two weeks, bringing the extension directly into line with the movements of the IMF, could prove significant.
As things stand, parliament has for the second time dismissed alternative options to the withdrawal agreement negotiated between Britain and the EU. If further attempts to try and pass some form of deal fail, and the UK cannot present a plan to the EU for a renewed extension of Article 50, the default position of a no deal exit would come into play.
I have written extensively over how a no deal scenario, desired as I believe it to be by globalist institutions, would require close coordination between central bankers due to the negative impact it would inevitably have on sterling and global markets.
If it happens during the IMF’s Spring Meetings, the likes of Lagarde and Carney would have a ready made platform on the international level in which to respond.
Whilst the timing of the meetings may prove to have no direct relevance, it is worth keeping an eye on, especially if come this time next week nothing has been resolved with no deal inching closer.