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Five years into an oil price boom, social tensions and growing populations mean Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) states need to invest more heavily, but public sector spending is eroding the windfall and storing problems for the future.
This is election year for many countries around the world. At the International Monetary Fund, there now should also be a democratic and open process to select a new managing director after the last one suddenly left. But to the dismay of many, the new chief will likely emerge from back-room deals of rich countries.
The US government's budget deficit came under fire on Wednesday from two global institutions saying a plan to halve the record gap by 2009 may not be enough to stop long-term damage to the world economy.