I’m continually amazed by how easy it is for government officials to hoodwink most of the news media. All it takes is for a couple of leading finance ministers to get on roughly the same page, and we’re reading/hearing about “substantial progress” or “major steps forward.” If someone provides an articulate background briefing to a leading newspaper on the supposed debate within a group of countries, this becomes the dominant news story.
Saturday’s G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors is a leading example. It was a disaster - we face what officials readily concede is the biggest financial and economic crisis since the 1930s, yet this conclave agreed precisely nothing that will make any difference. If the G20 heads of government summit on April 2nd is a similar failure, we will be staring at the real possibility of a global catastrophe. Yet the spinning storytellers of the G7 have still managed to get much of the press peering in entirely the wrong direction.
For more on what would the right direction, take a look at my piece in Britain’s Sunday Telegraph.