Given the lousy state of the global economy, the nations now gathered for the G20 summit have some important work to do. Which is why it's surprising that the standards of membership are so lax, write Alex Brill and James Glassman in the Wall Street Journal. The invites got handed out in "arbitrary fashion" when the group was established in 1999, they write, and it's time to establish stricter rules.
They propose seven criteria by which nations should be judged, including not only economic size and financial ties, but "adherence to the rule of law and other principles consistent with market-based economics." By their metric, Indonesia and Argentina should definitely get the boot, and maybe Mexico and Russia; they'd be replaced by Switzerland, Singapore, Norway, and Malaysia. Better standards, regularly enforced, will lend more legitimacy to the G20 at a time when its mission is more important than ever, they argue. Read the full column here. (Read more G20 stories.)