This article argues that a large group of developing countries did relatively well during the Great Recession, thanks to the broader room for countercyclical macroeconomic policies, and that the world economy will continue to be more dependent on the developing world than any we have known in history. However, it also claims that major emerging economies cannot serve in the immediate future as a strong enough alternative engine of world economic growth to the old industrial centers. It also raises major questions related to the future of the world trading system, both in relation to its future dynamics and the transformation of its ‘center–periphery’ character. Given the problems underlying world trade, it argues that the best scenario for the world is one in which major economies focus on their domestic demand growth. Finally, it raises a series of questions related to global imbalances and risks associated with the pro-cyclical pattern of capital flows to developing countries. These problems call for major reforms of the international financial architecture (some now under way), notably reforms of the global monetary system, effective mechanisms of macroeconomic policy coordination and improved regulation of finance, including of cross-border capital flows.