By Simon Johnson
Early Friday I went through the G20 communique for the Wall Street Journal; a marked up copy is available on-line.
It is hard to imagine how the summit could have gone any worse for the US Treasury and the president. The spin machine is now working overtime – and you’ll see big efforts to get more positive stories over the coming week – but on all fronts the outcome is very bad.
- There was no substantive progress on anything to do with exchange rates. The “indicative guidelines” to be agreed next year are just a way to kick the can down the road. The Chinese are digging in hard on their exchange rate; this is headed towards a mutually destructive trade war.
- There was less disagreement at the summit regarding the “regulation” of global megabanks – but only because this had been gutted so effectively by the bankers’ lobby and officials who bought their specious arguments. There is nothing here that will prevent or limit the impact of another major worldwide financial crisis. Continue reading