Obama Takes The Lead: G20 Viewer’s Guide

With our myriad banking problems, rapidly rising unemployment, looming political battles over the budget and much more on the pressing domestic agenda, is the G20 summit in London (dinner Wednesday and meeting Thursday) really worth all the time and effort that the President and his team have devoted to it?  And, granted that President Obama has to attend this heads of government meeting for protocol reasons, is there much that this summit can realistically achieve – i.e., are there actions that will be taken as a result of the summit that would not otherwise have happened and that can really make a difference to the parlous state of our economy?

These are all reasonable questions.  And the answer is simple: in terms of the obvious major issues of the day, this summit is unlikely to achieve much.

But every global economic recovery has to start somewhere and it probably has to begin small.  And there are some slight glimmers of hope because (a) President Obama is taking a global leadership role, (b) he is doing this in a creative way that might seem surprising, but which should reduce the chance of a further global meltdown.

To be clear, President Obama’s team tried to turn this into a constructive meeting that would contribute in a major fashion to a global recovery.  They pushed hard for further fiscal stimulus around the world, but were rebuffed by the Europeans (for some of whom – e.g., those who speak German – fear of inflation trumps all other sensible considerations).  There is no real summit-related progress on that front – just the usual kind of official window dressing.  But it was worth a try and the topic can be reopened in future discussions.

Obama’s team didn’t push quite as hard for expansionary monetary policy elsewhere in the world, to match what Ben Bernanke and the Fed are now doing in the US, partly because there is an unfortunate anachronistic notion that central banks are “independent” and should not be discussed by heads of government.  This leaves the European Central Bank with a deflationary policy stance (in large part, again because it is dominated by the Germanic anti-inflation obsession); this is dangerous for that whole continent and – given they comprise around a quarter of the world economy – for all of us.

No one made much progress with financial regulation.  None of the G20 governments really seem to have got to grips yet with the implications of having created large financial institutions that are too big to fail – and which derive great economic benefit and, in some cases, political power from this status.  At least the US is beginning to think harder about how to regulate the system, but the positive signs along this dimension are quite limited and nothing to do with the G20.

If the summit will make essentially no progress on the big three topics of fiscal, monetary and regulatory policy, how exactly is President Obama showing leadership and making a difference?  Here’s the creative surprise – it’s by raising a great deal of money for the IMF and proposing fundamental changes in the way that organization operates.

The IMF currently has about $250bn to lend; this is not enough to really make a difference in a world of trillion dollar problems.  The Europeans proposed to raise this to $500bn, which seems still low – particularly as it’s mostly European countries that have a pressing need to borrow; you guessed it, the Germans don’t want to put up more.  The Obama Administration is pushing for closer to $1trn in total IMF funding and, after a lot of hard work, seem likely to get close to this target.

In essence, this is a clever way to force the Europeans to help themselves.  The Europeans won’t do it with fiscal or monetary policy, and their regulatory changes – even if meaningful – won’t help the recovery.  So the US has persuaded other countries to stuff the IMF full of cash and line it up as the lender of last resort to European economies that now find their property markets collapsing, their currencies under pressure, and their budget deficits increasingly hard to fund.

But that’s not all.  The masterstroke is simple and also brilliant.  The US is pushing for – and likely to get – the Managing Director (known as the MD) of the IMF to be selected through an open, competitive and merit-based selection process.

Why is this a big deal?  Governance of the IMF has been for too long dominated by Europeans – by convention, every MD has been European since the founding of the organization; the results have been questionable.  The MD has enormous power and great discretion on almost all questions – the IMF is subject only to its own rules and its executive board is dominated by… Europeans.  This combination wore thin with much of the rest of the world a long time ago.

Deeper governance reform and de-Europeanization of the Fund (e.g., Europe is massively overrepresented in terms of board seats) is long overdue, but the Europeans have been strong enough to slow down the process in the past.  As a result, middle income and poorer countries rightly question if the IMF really works for them or just for the Europeans (and, it must be said, for the United States.)

By forcing open the leadership selection process of all International Financial Institutions (e.g., so this means no more guaranteed job for an American as President of the World Bank), the Obama team has jumped over major roadblocks around IMF governance.  It has also formed a natural alliance with large emerging markets (Mexico, Brazil, India, China, South Korea, South Africa, etc), who are also members of the G20; the natural next step would be to support a new MD from one of these countries.  Emerging markets lending to struggling Europe, through the IMF, is something we should all get used to thinking about.

Arising directly from the G20 process and this summit therefore, the IMF gets a large amount of cash and the real opportunity to establish broader legitimacy – this should help convince countries that loans from the IMF will come on reasonable terms in the future, and this in turn should serve as a buffer against further downturn. 

How much difference will this make?  We don’t know, but it’s a sensible step.  Global leadership pushing hard in the right direction is surely much better than what the world experienced before Barack Obama became President.

57 responses to “Obama Takes The Lead: G20 Viewer’s Guide

  1. adios amigos

    Nothing will be solved until trust is re-established in our various financial markets worldwide. The governments need to face that reality FIRST, then proceed. No trust in the markets = no stability. This is a capitalist world we now live in, remember? If we have literally zero trust in those with whom we trade, everything else is irrelevant. Trade/credit extension, etc will not resume until a certain level of trust is reestablished. Why would I do business with you again, if you have burned me now more than once, with this last one being a massive, government approved scam. NO ONE on Wall Street or Washington has been indicted. Why? Because this last fraud was actually legal…..but not morally acceptable. So, no trust….no recovery.

  2. Regarding ECB monetary policy, it seems plausible that they will wait for the dollar to fall and the Euro to rise before cutting rates further and embarking on the QE path that we are on. The negative economic consequences of the rising Euro can be used to counter pressure from anti-inflationists. So they may just follow our monetary lead but at a politically comfortable distance.

  3. you don’t have to publish this. Just wanted to note that “parlous” doesn’t look like a word to me. I am 26, I have been trying to understand our economy and future for several years now and your blog is the most informative and meaningful analysis I have found on the net. Keep up the good work Simon and James.

  4. Regulatory Policy
    I suspect that the Europeans are more interested in seeing how we reform our regulatory policies in response to this crisis before they get serious about reforming their own institutions. They may have a “it can’t or won’t happen here” mentality regarding the too big to fail problems that you describe or they may be skeptical that effective reforms can be devised and implemented. The LTCM problem comes to mind and I wonder if we learned anything from that experience in the “when big bets go wrong” department.

  5. How is giving up the convention of having a European run the IMF – and, presumably, the convention of having an American run the World Bank – helpful for us? It does not mean that the US will get the slot, only that some party that is neither the US nor Europe will get it.

    When the Chinese and Indians match the US contribution to the IMF, I can see giving them an equal voice. So long as we and our allies are paying for the bulk of the fund, however, it makes sense that we call the shots.

  6. You are absolutely correct Adios in saying that normal markets will be restored only after trust is reestablished. The truth is that once broken, trust takes a long time to rebuild. I agree that it is essential that all those individuals that violated that trust must be identified and held to account in some way as soon as possible. They should be removed from their positions to make room for those with acceptable moral and ethical standards. One important point that I believe was made in the Atlantic article was that we must do more to attract this kind of person into positions of power in government and finance.

  7. p k chatterjee

    In course of sprucing up the IMF , there is also a case for easing out the US dollar’s role as a reserve currency if only as a means of imposing discipline. Given the proven ineffectiveness of the SDRs, innovative thinking is called for in that regard. However, obviously nothing can happen without political agreement of which perhaps only the USA can be the sponsor.

  8. Perhaps something good will come out of this conference. Agreeing to making the IMF and World Bank more accountable and getting more non western influence in the decision making process should help. As to other points, it is doubtful that there can be a meeting of the minds on a coordinated stimulus program, as there are too many different approaches and needs.

  9. Does this mean the US gives up its veto ? I didn’t think so.

  10. loveandlightgodbless

    G20 Summit in London;Prayers & Good Wishes, 2 April 2009; God Bless

    Prayers are amazing. This precious gift is always with us

    Let us all pray for the G20 Summit in London where the Leaders of the World accompanied along with Strategic Decision Makers meet

    That they form a coalition; a mutual understanding based upon a Vision for the Global Economy

    A Vision that is based upon Values Based Principles and grows from strength to strength to overcome the challenges being faced globally with Wisdom

    Seek the grace of God to fill the Universe with a Vision of Happiness & Wisdom always
    When the World prays together; the wishes seek to manifest

    When the World is Happy, we are all Happy. In one another’s Happiness is our true Happiness; Development; Prosperity & Progress

    Let us gratefully acknowledge; appreciate and express our sincere thanks to God for everything always;

    Protocol; Etiquette, Be Appreciative; Be Grateful; Be Meaningful; Be Purposeful; Be Respectful and Be Responsible always Please

    Express thanks to God time and again always, For the Health and Wellness,
    For the Wonderful Families; Friends, For the Inspiration & Wisdom, For Fulfilling our Needs, For Showing us the way, For the Courage, For the Natural Resources,
    For always being near us, For the lamp of peace; love; faith and hope that glows in all our hearts, For God’s graceful and loving presence, For God’s Blessings,
    For Guidance through the challenges, For the Trust in us, For knowing what is best for us always, For permitting the Love and Light of God to shine through our lives

    Prayer; May One and All be Appreciative; Grateful and Thankful

    Happiness

    May Happiness be showered on One and All; May One and All be Healthy;

    May One and All be Loved & Respected; May One and All have Well-being

    May One and All realize that their Happiness is linked to others Happiness;

    May One and All recognize that when the World is Happy, they are Happier;

    May One and All discover the true meaning of Life is that Life is Precious
    May One and All be Resourceful & Talented; May One and All Achieve and Excel;
    May One and All be Considerate; Creative; Meaningful; Purposeful and Responsible;
    May One and All Love Nature; The Environment & Humanity;

    May One and All Respect One Another; May One and All Inspire One Another;

    May One and All realize that they each have a very meaningful and special purpose in Life;

    May One and All believe that they are the precious Gems of this Universe;

    May One and All realize that Life is Beautiful; Precious, Meaningful and Purposeful;

    May One and All be a Symbol of God’s Loving Love and Light; Radiating Joy for others;

    May One and All be Blessed with Happiness, Prosperity; Progress& Wisdom always

    Thank you for your prayers for the World; they are immensely appreciated and reciprocated with utmost appreciation and gratitude

    Trust in God and Faith in Ourselves, May God Bless You and Your Families with a Vision of Happiness and Wisdom always

    When the World is Happy, We are all Happy; In one another’s Happiness is our true Prosperity, Development and Greatest Happiness

    May Universal Appreciation; Happiness; Consideration; Compassion; Respect; Peace; Love; Cooperation; Inspiration; Gratitude; Economic Development, Stability; Prosperity, Progress & Wisdom prevail always

    Love & Light;

    God Bless,

    Vashi

    ©2009 Vashi Ram Chandi

  11. Paris Biltong

    Yeah, well, besides praying, perhaps we can also give some thought to what can be done besides reforming institutions such as the IMF, which have not proved excessively successful or popular and whose powers in any event pale next to those of big business and big banks.
    The more general problem seems to me to be that governments (public interest, in other words) have been playing second fiddle to private interests and are incapable of reflecting the common needs of the people. The idea of nationalization has been completely demonized while free-market liberalism continues to be looked upon as the panacea.
    One of the major differences between European countries and the US (and the third world, for that matter) lies in the importance placed on the public sector. There is a broad consensus in countries such as France, in spite of bitter opposition between the “left” and the “right”, on such issues as public health, transportation, education, housing, pensions, etc. that is absent from the American discourse just as it is unheard of in less developed countries (or “infant democracies”), be they Russia, China or Iraq. Excessive reliance on market forces is what leads to absurdities such as credit default swaps or employees investing their savings with their own employers.
    From this vantage point, it seems as though America has been gravely overcome by greed in recent years, rendering it too stupid to manage its economy, not to speak of world affairs.
    Praying may not work, but getting back to a more sensible, ethical foundation has the potential of doing a lot more that the IMF, G20, the Fed, TARP, and the rest. Bankruptcies may be needed for people to get a sense of priorities, a modicum of humility, the understanding that we’re in it together. Perhaps Obama can contribute to that.

  12. You write this as though the IMF is a force for good in the world.

  13. loveandlightgodbless

    Paris Biltong,

    I agree with your perspective that a significant set of details need to be essentially implemented and would wish to respectfully place the following details for your consideration and understanding please

    If you will notice, my emphasis has been on the prevalence of Wisdom

    Wisdom is a Virtue that is the power of knowledge; you can also refer it to as being aware without any ignorance or pretense; this further could also be referred to as being insightful meaningfully; of being aware of the various aspects relating to the respective conventionalities; protocol; etiquette; guidelines; values based principles and so much more

    Very most certainly, where it concerns implementation; this is obviously sought to be pursued on the basis of Meaningfulness; Purposefulness; Respectfulness and Responsibleness in all aspects and respects regarding every facet of the recovery process with due diligence and “Hope”

    There is no aspect such as so little or other aspect so large that could be simply overlooked; it has been proven that even the most minutest of aspects could increment in proportion and stature to loom ever so alarmingly with repercussive ramifications, this is obvious, that every aspect is very delicately balanced, similar to what has been reported in the media that this was like poised on the edge of a cliff, which is of extreme concern

    This is where despite every reasonable efforts and much more, with the One Hundred percent of diligent and accountable efforts, the request for a prayer,

    it is a one minute of prayer, a one minute of good wishes, that are being expressed for all the Respective World Leaders and the Strategic Decision Makers, that they be Blessed with Wisdom and take the appropriate decisions that could help form a coalition; a solidarity platform of mutual understanding based upon a Vision for the Global Economy

    The Vision that is based upon Values Based Principles and grows from strength to strength to overcome the challenges being faced globally with Wisdom and of course to humbly seek the grace of God to fill the Universe with a Vision of Happiness & Wisdom always;

    When the World prays together; the wishes seek to manifest; Everyone investing their very best efforts for the Global Economy and remembering to express a prayer, wishing one another well

    This is not seeking to deviate or ignore facts or realities; it is not a illusion; it is looking and facing the respective aspects boldly with courage and wisdom, taking the relevant steps to tackle the challenges, however along with the One Hundred percent of meaningful; purposeful; respectful and responsible strategic steps to ensure that prayers are expressed please

    And where it concerns the virtue of Hope, this is intended to refer to as follows.
    Where it concerns Hope, it is well known that Hope encourages and truly evokes faith, fortitude, prudence, temperance, vision and wisdom

    Faith, which is the Trust, the Belief

    Fortitude, which is the purposeful and meaningful persistence

    Prudence, which is the meaningful moderation

    Temperance, which is the abstinence relating to certain aspects meaningfully

    Vision, which is the virtue of perception of core values shared collectively; The core values of the vision being envisaged is adherence to the Values Based Principles

    Love & Light,

    God Bless,

    Vashi

  14. The IMF has great potential to be a force for good Steve, and largely was in its early years. It can be again once its purged of neo-liberal influences.

  15. Amen to that! I am praying that China’s idea’s about reviving the Bancor / SDE and suggestions for international capital controls get a good airing. I guess there’s next to no chance of anything being agreed on, but at least resistance can be lowered a bit, God willing.

  16. You give me hope. For while there was little chance that meaningful progress could come from this meeting there was a significant chance that it could unleash further destruction.

  17. loveandlightgodbless

    Fred,

    Thank you, God Bless

    Hope is there with all of us, it is all of us Inspiring one another meaningfully; purposefully; respectfully and responsibly; so it is thanks to one and all for seeking to Inspire one another, God Bless

    Hope has been there since time immemorial and will apparently continue to prevail infinitely as it has so wonderfully sustained

    It is the meaningful, purposeful, respectful and responsible initiatives that taken to overcome the phenomenal challenges of enormous proportions; with each aspect looming so much more larger than ever

    That despite the significant efforts seems to have reached a very most sensitive point in time.

    Apart from the above magnificent attributes of Hope is also known and considered to be the desire of expectancy; of adopting a positive perspective-preview of the goodness that is seeking to unfold

    The act of being provided-experiencing the prevalence of the authoritative power that awakens from within one’s own self

    Each person is respectively and respectfully entitled to their point of views; some persons might perceive even a glimmer hope from one hopeful point of view and yet some others might seek to perceive it contradictorily; it all depends upon how one seeks to perceive the very same glass of water either as half full or as half empty

    Of course where it relates to economic and finance and enormity of the prevalent challenges being faced, there are obviously various others factors to be taken into careful consideration, with prudence and due diligence, however here it is after the One Hundred percent efforts that the Prayers, Hopes are being expressed

    So it is One Hundred percent of the time for the respective initiatives and efforts; the respective necessary measures and policies; and the one per cent which could be almost one minute of good wishes and prayers, or even a few minutes of prayers and good wishes please

    Hope empowers, strengthens & increments the expectancies and possibilities; so when one person’s hope adds onto another and thus resulting into tens, hundreds, thousands, millions of hopes, this hope results into reality – manifestation (provided of course time and again the respective, responsible and meaningful and purposeful steps that may pertain to the concerned issues are meticulously observed and taken purposefully and meaningfully in all aspects and respects stringently with utmost discipline and accountabilities)

    It is humbly seeking just a minute or a few minutes if possible to express them for the Respected World Leaders and the Respected Strategic Decision Teams who are working diligently to ensure that all matters are respectively addressed and the relevant steps taken to ensure the Global Economy recovers and stabilizes in accordance with their respective agendas accordingly

    Let us sincerely Hope and Pray all aspects manifest into successful accomplishments for one and all at the very earliest and reasonable possible, God Bless

    Love & Light,

    God Bless,

    Vashi

  18. Funding the IMF is little more than a short term catastrophe-patch, designed to prevent the immediate implosion of certain countries. While necessary, it does not presume to get ahead of the current crisis.

    The general problem is this – many individuals, companies, and institutions are carrying huge debt loads at a time when the worldwide economy is contracting. Recovery is not in sight. The question that ultimately _needs_ to be addressed with IMF lending is this:

    What if the world does _not_ recover quickly (which is looking increasingly likely given the current global response)? Do borrower countries have any guarantee that the IMF will not engage in massive intervention in domestic economies and governments, and forcibly sell off valuable (e.g. hard-currency earning) domestic assets to pay off debts? (In other words, force borrower countries into a type of bankruptcy, and proceed with asset liquidation.)

    Given this threat, only countries in imminent danger of currency collapse would consider IMF loans. Perhaps this is the goal (prevent imminent currency collapses by allowing borrower countries to refinance existing debt into longer term debt structures owed to the IMF instead of private European banks). If so, I don’t see that 1 trillion is really necessary, although it may feel good.

    At its worst, one could view this as a transfer from world governments (providing funding to the IMF) to banks (which have extended loans to Eastern Europe and other indebted nations) – effectively a subsidy to cover past bad loans. An accounting trick to delay recognition of losses and shift the burden to worldwide creditor countries (which would be fine with me, if they just came out and said it).

    The real need – to pump vast amounts of money into the system while permanently taking down worldwide leverage (debt ratios) is NOT being addressed because of inflation fears coupled with political actors vying to protect their distributional advantage (all the while crying “moral hazard” loudly from the rooftops). Instead, we are trying to convince the whole world to lever back up.

    I remain dazed and confused by this spectacle.

  19. More like neo-con

  20. StatsGuy, you must remember that a weakness of humans is to watch the train wreck that is coming and try to figure it out afterwards. We are a dysfunctional species in many regards. Perhaps, the world needs a global depression to learn and move on from this. It will be very ugly with much upheaval and violence. Until we all work together on all fronts, we remain exposed to destruction of all types. We are very much like a young child that needs to learn everything the HARD WAY!

  21. Here’s a suggestion for IMF lending practices – feel free to throw it away.

    As part of the loan, include a clause that (no matter how devalued the local currency becomes) the IMF will accept repayment of the loan at no lower an exchange rate than 1/3rd or 1/5th the current value of the local currency.

    This leaves intact huge incentives to repay the loan, but allows countries to avoid the worst case scenario. No country will want to absorb more than 300%-500% inflation (relative to the reserve currency) due to domestic pressures, so it does not create a strong incentive to print a little money to pay back the loan unless things get really bad. But if things do get really bad, at least the local countries have a way out that does not involve IMF receivorship.

    This is just a suggestion, but it does seem as if the IMF needs a “managed bankruptcy” option for borrower countries that is not as painful, but does not create excessive incentives to default.

  22. Bill Bradbrooke

    Vishi, thank you for the prayer. It’ delightful, a great antidote to suspicion and negativity. I notice you have copywritten it. What is the point of copywriting a prayer for universal acceptance and enlightenment?

  23. Simon – it’s my understanding that the decision who leads the IMF involves a transatlantic horse trade that also implicates the leadership of the World Bank: A European to lead the IMF; an American to lead the World Bank. Is President Obama proposing that the US give up its exclusive claim to leadership of the World Bank as part of the proposed changes at the IMF?

  24. Why not

    0. Simply nationalize the banks, Government directly lends to businesses

    1. Give a good haircut to all creditors

    2. Jail all Bank, Hedge fund and insurance executives under RICO charges. Make sure minimum sentence is 20 years

    3. Seize their property and throw their families on the street

    Problem will be solved in no time.

  25. Oh, and not to forget corrupt policy makers, economists and professors

  26. A second major part of what went wrong is completely missing here…

    It’s that the reason the financial culture turned to fictitious investment strategies was not just greed, but necessity… Before the large abuses, it was needed to maintain ‘normal’ returns. Investments in real growth began running into all sorts of complications, conflicts, new costs and shortages about 40 or 50 years ago. It was easy to hid at first, but now it’s not. I’ve been studying the problem for about 30 years and would have useful things to say… My review of Simon’s Atlantic article is on my blog today.

    http://synapse9.com/blog/2009/04/01/109/

  27. I think that’s been one of the most productive questions to me, what is it that has caused nearly the same financial overshoot and collapse pattern over and over and over, and so demonstrating a special learning disability for what causes it…? Some years ago I hit upon what it is. It’s that the problem actually comes from having sure bets and being allowed to add your winnings to your bets. That can multiply further than any reality on which the perception of security was based, but too great a temptation for anyone, because of the genuine appearance of it being a sure thing. The automatic compounding of bets guarantees that the bets will fail, however.

    The natural fragility of finance, then, has to do with the physical limits of the things we have unlimited faith in. Think about that!! What we need to face seems to be that automatic compounding returns inevitably gets in trouble. There’s a ‘simple’ way out as suggested by both Keynes and Boulding, that I’ve looked at in a modern context of physical system economics. Investors could spend enough unearned income to limit it’s growth to match real income… I have a page for the current context at http://www.synapse9.com/issues/concept$.htm

    Phil

  28. Avid Reader

    Simon,

    Please tell me you are going to be writing a book or have one coming out soon that follows the logic evinced by your article in The Atlantic. I want more!

    Do you have any suggested readings, perhaps, that would help me learn more about how the U.S.’s financial crisis and its political dynamics are similar to those of other countries’ crises?

    Thank You!

  29. It must be apparent that for too long the belief in the business and financial community that “economics” happens in a vacuum.
    It does not. Practices no matter how profitable in the short term that have a negative impact on a stable society will eventually damage that society so that it can no longer sustain its status.
    By acting as if shareholder value and profit maximization are the only goals worth having for a business, the establishment substitutes bad tactics and immoral goals in place of long term sustainable profit strategies.

  30. I don’t mind that others are invited in – but as has been pointed out, with votes come shares of responsibility, too.

    Moreover, looking at what greatness other installments of “sharing voices” have wrought at other international venues *cough-unhumanrightscommission-cough* I’m not altogether convinced that democratization (even with heigtened accountability procedures) is a good step in and by itself, cosmetics and feel good factors aside.

    So yeah, bringing some serious moolah at the table to back up the newly acquired right to vote would be one way to make sure people mean it when they say they want to “participate”.

    But most importantly, while this opening up of the MD seat might be great as a filler for the somewhat bleak shop window of this peculiar G20, I’d rather see substantive agreements on policy than yet another Great Leap Forward in extending the dinner tables at the next blatherfest.

    Less political correctness and more correct policy please.

  31. By the way, re: “In essence, this is a clever way to force the Europeans to help themselves. The Europeans won’t do it with fiscal or monetary policy, and their regulatory changes – even if meaningful – won’t help the recovery.”

    The deeper irony here is that Europeans have “learned” from successive administrations on the left side of the Atlantic that fiscal policy to stimulate economy is “bad” – addiction to governmental initiative and all that jazz. Plus, there’s the regulatory “overhead” that was washed away.

    It’ll take a bit more than frantic and somewhat unexpectedly insisting that no no no, the textbook should be read as “unbridled free markets bad, judicious fiscal policy good” instead. See that’s the thing with Europe: memory goes back somewhat further there than yesterday’s news cycle or last year’s Forbes 500 front runner.

  32. Certainly the Europeans will inflict suffering on their own citizens in the process, but it looks as though their stance at the G20 is aimed at giving America a proverbial bloody nose. Read the following article and the quote from the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia –

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,28124,25272773-20501,00.html

    It is hard to interpret his remarks as meaning anything else but ‘if a country has a problem with its banks that country is on its own’.

    Baselinescenario is an excellent website, but I think it may be making the mistake of assuming that the rest of the world sees this as just an economic crisis. There is emerging evidence that the rest of the world sees the crisis as a major foreign policy opportunity, and they are doing their best to ensure that the USA’s power is curbed.

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  35. Bill & Sam,

    Thank you for seeking clarifications

    With all due respect to your perspective, I have previously noticed that what I had posted at another forum had been re pasted and had not only been altered in contexts but completely mis represented the essence

    At first I could not believe that someone could apparently seek to manipulate and alter the contexts to convey a different message

    This is why in good faith I have affixed a copyright attribution, it has taken me very long to carefully choose the words that Inspire and request everyone to appreciate what they have, always continue to be resourceful and of course Integrity is the essence of the Centuries

    Being True to Ourselves and Others; When we truly discover ourselves, we are able to understand so much about others; When we seek to truly understand others; we discover, so very much about ourselves

    We are all interconnected, those that have manipulated and created so many difficulties and the very most profound challenges to serve their selfish interests might be realizing within themselves that what they have committed is amongst the very most grievous of actions that could ever be committed but they perhaps did not realize that there are Laws and Regulations everywhere, that even apart from National and International Laws and Regulations, there are Laws and Regulations that follow us when we also complete this earthly sojourn and depart from this earthly realm

    We all have to pay for our actions; there are consequences and the consequences and penalties for such ignorant and deliberate mis leading set of actions are all being watched by God always

    Maybe those who might have evaded might think that they have got away but they should realize that God is always watching that those who have created so much of the very most profound challenges to others could never experience the peace or happiness that comes from within

    Of what use is all the wealth in the world for them, if they experience the most profound turmoils and agitation within themselves?

    From outside, they maybe smiling and cheerful, but what is within them is the consistent apprehensiveness and anxiousness, what they have done is truly the very most unimaginable of actions ever, putting the livelihood of Millions of People and their Families at stake

    So many Children and Families all across the World are experiencing unprecedented challenges due to the selfishness; the greed of a few corrupt individuals; it is the very most shocking and painful reality but where there is Hope and where there is Wisdom along with God’s grace, there is a way

    Of course, everyone needs to take tremendous efforts, more than One Hundred Percent efforts and the One Percent of Prayers, Blessings and Good Wishes for one another always

    Love & Light,

    God Bless,

    Vashi

  36. Hey, it’s great that this thread is getting lots of looks, but when do we start discussing the major reasons for the fix we’re in that will not be fixed by good faith, stimulus or regulation??

    One of the main reasons the financial culture developed so many ways to create fictional profits was that the investments in physical wealth were experiencing diminishing returns due to complications of living on earth. Yes, it “snuck up on us” but it’s also been a fact clearly coming for a long time. My 20 sentence review the Simon Johnson article in the Atlantic that addresses the very deep problem that raises is at: http://synapse9.com/blog/2009/04/01/109/

  37. adios amigos

    You put a copyright……on a prayer? Peace, Love, Faith and…….copyrights? I think I need to just kill myself….sigh

  38. adios amigos,

    If you have mis representations, where certain individuals mis represent what you express, then you will understand what it means

    We have so many more important issues to discuss rather than going on persistently seeking to exclaim and raise concern over this matter

    Let me give you an example

    A Person writes a particular set of details and those very details are copied and altered and there contradicting the very same details one has written; then the Person who faces such type of circumstances know what it is

    So hope you will not mis understand the copyright is nothing to do with any other interpretation that might be taken other than what is seeks to convey, the goodness and good wishes for one and all always

    Love & Light,

    God Bless,

    Vashi

  39. Adios Amigos,

    If you have mis representations, where certain individuals mis represent what you express, then you will understand what it means

    We have so many more important issues to discuss rather than going on persistently seeking to exclaim and raise concern over this matter

    Let me give you an example

    A Person writes a particular set of details and those very details are copied and altered and they are contradicting the very same details one has written; then the Person who faces such type of circumstances know what it is

    So hope you will not mis understand the copyright is nothing to do with any other interpretation that might be taken other than what is seeks to convey, the goodness and good wishes for one and all always

    Love & Light,

    God Bless,

    Vashi

  40. adios amigos

    Paris, You had me until the end, when you said: “Perhaps Obama can contribute that”. Let me ask you something, and I would REALLY appreciate it if you would respond….ok? Do you really think this guy is ANY different than all the rest of the Washingtonians? I’m very interested in hearing your honest response to that question. What EXACLY do you know about this man? And please, tell me what you KNOW versus what you hope, or think. What do you really KNOW about this guy, that makes him the Great Savior of all things? What I have observed about most politicians, both in the US and everywhere else on the planet, is that they storm into office promising things like “change we can believe in”, and then proceed to let everyone down when they realize that their are forces working against them to do anything worthwhile for the real people. In short, they promise a LOT, get elected, then sell everyone out except the monied elite. Is it just me, but doesn’t that ALWAYS seem to be the case? LOOK at what he’s doing already? A trillion dollar bailout for the bankers…..different? Huh?

  41. adios amigos

    Stats, as amazing as this is for me, for once I agree with you. This IMF nonsense is exactly that: nonsense. The world needs to admit that this is beyond band-aids and quick fixes, admit that many country’s and investors are going to take hits, let it all get rinsed, and start over. It’s going to be LESS painful in the long run if we try to NOT complicate the inevitable process called deleveraging. All these idiots like Geithner and Bernanke are doing is prolonging the agony, and trying to finagle the process so the Wall Street clowns don’t get hit too hard. Their plan seems to be to dump all the junk flatly onto the backs of the taxpayers, and make sure their cronies come out whole (or as whole as possible). Rather than letting the banks take their hits. The mask they are using is “if we don’t do this, the sky will fall !!!!!!” Bullshit. It’s being done to keep the wealthy elites in the chips, and give them a free pass. I still can’t believe the american people are standing still for this. Did you notice London today – during the G20? Law enforcement had all they could do to keep it from becoming a riot. The american government banks on the fact that the ameican people are too passive to actually march on washington…..armed.

  42. adios amigos

    Vashi, well…..you certainly cleared that up for me. I love reading your posts…I really do, but I have no clue what your talking about on this one.
    Peace, love, happyness, etc
    AA

  43. Adios Amigos,

    Thank you for your understanding

    Regarding the virtues being expressed, these were seeking to evoke; awaken the spiritual awareness; the consciousness of those that have very most profoundly committed the very most grievous of actions ever

    At the same time, it is seeking to Inspire and only Inspire the goodness and greatness that is there within each and everyone of us

    This period in time is so very much more unprecedented than it appears; it is amongst the very most crucial of challenges

    It is a time where the complete World has to come together and put aside all respective differences; it is not who took the initiatives or who was more Intelligent

    It is the Victory for Humanity; for Humanity’s sake, for the sake of our Children and Families, this is being humbly appealed that we all, everyone all across the World come together to build a World that is compassionate, inspiring, loving, promising, peaceful, happy, enterprising and innovative, developing and sustainable (And of course Accountable & Very Most Responsible) for our Children and Families

    Where this concerns Peace, this Peace that is Pure Consciousness; Peace is Peace by itself like no other Virtue; Peace within One’s own self and Peace in the Environment that abounds (not surrounding environment but abounding environment since we are always appreciating the environment we are in and it grows, it keeps on evolving; it keeps on growing with immense abundance miraculously; there is so much that we are unable to perceive that is transpiring this every moment and in all moments; let us always be appreciative, grateful and thankful to God always whilst of course diligently, meaningfully, purposefully, respectfully and responsibly attending to our respective assignments, agendas, duties, objectives consistently with awareness and accountabilities)

    Inspiration is the Spirit of Life, which is the very most integral aspect of everything in Life; The Spirit of life is the Inspiration of Life; The Inspiration of Life is the Spirit of Life

    Compassion and Wisdom encompasses all aspects of Life; Compassion is virtually the very most profound of emotions that is able to truly feel and experience the pain experienced by others and seek to earnestly alleviate their sufferings in all forms of expressions

    The intent of Life is Inspiration; to be Admirable, Appreciative, Compassionate, Considerate, Grateful, Humble, Meaningful; Objective; Purposeful; Respectful, Resourceful, Responsible, Sincere, Truthful and abiding; complying with the respective Laws & Regulations in all aspects and respects obligatorily; adopting a disciplined approach that incorporates Values Based Principles in each and every segment of every aspect of Life meticulously

    Love is our Nature; We are all a part of Love; Love is a part of all of us; Love is a Part of our Hearts; The Heart is a part of all of us; How can we be apart in the Universe, with Love in our Hearts; The Universe is bonded by True Love; The Universe is inter connected; Love from Heart to Heart; Wishing one another, Peace, Love, Happiness, Wisdom and all the very finest virtues in life always; God Bless; God is Love; We are all the Children of God; The Universe is One Family; Admiring and Appreciating one another; Always immensely grateful and thankful to God; What we do for others comes back to us always; What we wish for others comes back to us always; As we Sow; so shall we Reap

    The above is a very brief prelude since One Hundred Percent of the aspects are all objectiveness, accountability, responsibleness, meaningfulness, purposefulness and respectfulness, first duties and meaningful actions and then the talks and the speeches

    So the words that are being humbly expressed are with a humble perspective that seeks to Inspire one another to recognize the potential value of each moment and utilize it effectively, meaningfully, purposefully, respectfully, responsibly for the Welfare, Development, Prosperity and Progress of the World

    It is not I, Me, You or They, It is We, all People, all across the World, we should all come together with non violence in all forms of expressions, whether in thoughts, speech or actions; since Non Violence has the very most prominent pledge of the Century and by arguing and engaging one another in arguments and debates or other aspects that are confrontational, we are seeking to deviate from our noble purpose, the noble purpose of making our World Happy and Peaceful, Reliable and Dependable, Promising and Innovative and so much more of the very finest for our Children and Families always please

    When we discover ourselves, we discover so much about others as well; When we discover about others, we discover so much about ourselves as well. Time and again, over and over again, to live truly; Love and Light; God Bless; To be conscious; To be Aware

    The saying that pride will come before the fall is an universal truth understood and truly accepted by everyone and always prevails since thousands of years and will continue to do so; Those who seek to be ignorant or deny the prevalence of this will learn they cannot be ignorant and commit actions erroneously, they need to be accountable and responsible always

    Peace and Happiness accompany each other; one cannot be separated from the other. Wisdom is peace within ourselves as well as the interactions that we have with the Universe.

    If we keep experiencing turmoil, doubts, contradictions or seek to establish our own ways that go against all that has, is and will prevail, then we are seeking to relentlessly pursue an incessant and infinite prolongation of discussions which would eventually culminate with the results that it is always and always God’s grace; it is always and always God’s greatness that prevails

    This life has, is and will always be Wonderful; we are not living in an imaginary state and deluding ourselves when we seek to Inspire, not at all,

    It is while always attending to one’s objectives, duties and assignments responsibly first that one is seeking to also Inspire one another

    it is being practical, facing realities, not being ignorant but being objective, being focused, being pro active and being accountable and very most responsible time and again always

    Love and Light,

    God Bless,

    Vashi

  44. My grandfather always said that wisdom was the ability to learn from the mistakes of history and of others. I agree that humans have a sad habit of reacting to problems, instead of proactively avoiding them.

  45. Here here! Consider this a pre-order of any such book.

  46. You are basically talking about the Social Contract between the nation and business. I agree that a major part of the problem is in our shortsightedness. Major corporations are no longer able to think of long term strategies, they are instead trapped in a 3 month cycle of results. If they don’t make profit projections they are punished. It is a stupid cycle that needs to be re-thought and improved. We need to get our business leaders thinking in larger cycles. When you are constantly staring down the barrel of a gun that goes off every 90 days, it is tough to think of anything else.

  47. adios amigos

    I bet your a riot at a cocktail party, aren’t ya Vashi? I love your stuff man, but every time I read it, I feel the need to play some of my old Beatles albums.
    Party on,
    Peace, Love, Happyness, et al
    AA

  48. Adios Amigos,

    That is great, it takes us back in time, the wonderful memories that inspire us to appreciate what was, what is and what will be

    It is Life

    L for Learning

    I for Inspiring

    F for Fulfilling

    E for Expectations

    Where it concerns fulfilling, this obviously means, fulfilling Responsibly, in a fair and just manner; not at the expense of others, but seeking to practice methodologies that are compliant to the respective Laws and Regulations consistently without any exceptions or deviations

    Where there is love, there is life; Where there is life, there is love, peace, hope, inspiration, wisdom and so much more of the life’s finest of the very finest always

    We all need to be conscious; We all need to be aware and those who pretend not to be aware; need to be Be(a)ware;Be Aware since time catches up with one and all, sooner or later

    It is the principle of life, what we give to others, comes back to us; What goes around, comes around; what we give to this day; this day will give back to us, either today, tomorrow or later; but the day will give back to us at one time or another

    What we see in others, dwells in us; What others see in us; dwell in themselves as well; Let us recognize one anothers goodness and greatness and do our very best for the Universe always

    So let us Celebrate and express thanks to God always and give this day and every day Meaningfulness, Purposefulness, Respectfulness, Objectiveness, & Responsibleness in each and every
    aspect and respect

    What we Appreciate grows; It is a Mirror effect; we are all a reflection of one another; if we seek the goodness in others and inspire them, we are also inspiring our ownselves as well

    When one another accomplishes meaningfully, it is also our own meaningful accomplishments as well. When one another reaches milestones and excels, we also celebrate the achievements and seek to excel in our respective personal and professional endeavors as well

    Being True to Ourselves and Others; When we truly discover ourselves, we are able to understand so much about others; When we seek to truly understand others; we discover, so very much about ourselves

    Thank you for Inspiration, I appreciate your acknowledgment and encouragement since hoping that each initiative that is taken by one and all is able to create and establish a platform of greater understanding, love, peace, respect, hope, admiration, appreciation, gratitude and friendship that works towards accomplishment – pioneering meaningful goals and objectives for the welfare and development of the World; for the meaningful benefit and constructive progress of the Universe always, God Bless

    Love and Light,

    God Bless,

    Vashi

  49. You met your match AA! haha

  50. Joyful Alternative

    “Parlous” is indeed a word, and a good one. It means “dangerous,” without the guns and cowboys sorts of images attached.

    Online dictionaries, such as http://www.merriam-webstercollegiate.com/, are helpful in reading blogs whose authors have fulsome vocabularies.

  51. Pingback: Matthew Yglesias » IMF Reform at the G-20

  52. Show Me The Money

    I agree that trust must be re-established in order for any real improvement to take hold. But how?! With the new issue of Trillions of paper dollars with reckless abandon, how can trust be repaired? What good is the paper? Weimar, anyone?

    I think the best thing of all to come out of the G20 meeting was the protest slogan “Eat the Bankers”.

    Show Me The Money

  53. adios amigos

    Vash,
    Hey….do you know how to play one of those sitar-guitar things? Like Ravi Shankhar played? I always thought they were pretty cool..ya know? Those guys with the incense burning talking about “enlightment” always fascinated me…Yep.
    Peaced, Love, Nirvana, all that,
    AA

  54. adios amigos

    I got a kick out of the G20 clowns recommending that we fund up the IMF with a trillion dollars. Who’s EARNING this money that we are putting into this fund? I don’t mean who’s PRINTING the money, I mean who’s really earning it, so it can be put in as actually earned revenue? Are they just printing this up and handing it to the IMF? If so, why don’t they just cut down an entire forest, turn the trees into paper, print some sort of currency on the paper, and hand it to the IMF. Give them 750 trillion…..or more. Maybe we should just cut down EVERY tree on the planet, print currency on the paper made from the trees, and fly around the planet on the Space Shuttle and launch a Trillion Trillion dollars out the side of the space shuttle and let it rain down on the whole planet? Won’t we get to our inevitable finish line faster (global inflation) if we do that?

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  56. Pingback: Obama Wins At G20: Europeans Lose Control of IMF « The Baseline Scenario

  57. adios amigos

    Your EXACTLY correct.