Washington (CNN) - Like Dr. Evil learned in the Austin Powers movies, a billion dollars isn't quite what it used to be.
This weekend's G8 and G-20 summits are expected to top $1 billion in costs. At such a large price tag, it's reasonable to ask if the meetings are worth it. But according to former top White House aides, even with the hefty price the meetings more than pay for themselves in both tangible and intangible ways.
According to David Gergen, who worked for five presidents and has participated in several of these summits, the world has already seen a return on the current $1 billion investment.