Employees walk through the Citigroup headquarters in New York
Employees walk through the Citigroup headquarters in New York Reuters

One question coming from some developing nations is why the U.S. and other advanced economies put so much money into the financial sector, especially in light of calls for balanced growth.

While leaders at the G20 have stressed that the real economy has to be a focus, the fact remains that some of the largest bailouts during the economic crisis have been to banks. Stabilizing the financial system is important, but the money often goes to back intangible assets and raise confidence, which doesn't always put people to work.

As leaders speak of rebalancing, one of those balances leaders will have to consider is what kind of investments economies make. In the U.S. -- the world's largest economy -- manufacturing has been in steady decline in favor of service-based industries such as banking.

One Indonesian economist who took part in the G20 Business Summit asked, Doesn't the U.S. need infrastructure?

Under the U.S. Troubled Asset Relief Program, for example, the five biggest recipients of aid were all financial companies -- Citigroup, Bank of America, AIG, J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo, and GMAC Financial Services. Citigroup got $40 billion. General Motors was sixth, with $13 billion.

Defining the institutions that require closer supervision is a bone of contention. The chairman of South Korea's Financial Services Commission, Dong-Soo Chin said during a press conference that the G20 is trying to hammer out a framework for regulating financial firms important to the functioning of the economy - called SIFIs, for systemically important financial institutions.

SIFIs will be either global or local, but what makes an institution globally or locally important is debatable.

Meanwhile the trade imbalances between China and the U.S., for example, centers on manufactured goods. China buys debt from the U.S., which in turn buys finished goods from China. Many emerging markets' growth is export-driven.

But to rebalance the world economy, the developed nations will have to manufacture more, and the developing nations will need to consume more. The developed nations will have to lower their debt levels and the developed nations will have to raise them.