There will be a great deal of analysis of this meeting of the G-20. The impact and effectiveness of what was done here may not be immediately apparent. It may take months to fully judge whether the nations represented will commit enough stimulus spending to really make a difference, whether these countries are serious about free trade, whether regulations discussed might prevent further economic crises.
But the fact that this meeting could even take place is remarkable and to someone whose history is based in the last century -- pretty amazing.
The class photo of the world leaders is symbolic, but it says a great deal. In the last century we talked of the Sino-Soviet split. We talked of the iron curtain. We talked of enmities left over from World War II.
But here in London Chinese leaders negotiated with the Russians. Russians with Americans. Germans, English, French all together. It was the world as one facing a problem with which every nation -- no matter their system of government -- must confront.
Does the class picture represent a new world order as some were boldly suggesting today? Maybe. How the world emerges from the present crisis will be a good litmus. It seemed taken for granted that these leaders -- some from countries that were recently bitter enemies -- could agreeably meet -- and that none would leave aggrieved. Extraordinary -- in and of itself.