Thursday, April 2, 2009
Look at them there, all pleased with themselves. Sarkozy and Merkel giggling away, Obama beaming like a kid on his first day at school and Brown, as ever, uncomfortable in his own clothes. Do the G20 leaders look determined or complacent? Are they taking seriously the $1trillion of our money that they're about to spend?
Well, to be absolutely fair, I am impressed with today's result. Of course a lot of
the deals will have been hammered out well in advance but for a day's work one has to stand back in admiration. The G20 has beefed up the crucial IMF to the tune of $500bn, they have put a firm and significant figure on aid to the world's poorest and they have taken steps towards getting global trade back on track. Most telling of all, world markets have reacted positively.
On the downside, I am not sure if "lending" to the poorest countries is a solution, there seems to be no chat on climate change which should be integral to any new financial order and there is no agreement on how the balance of power, not to mention the necessary redistribution of surpluses and deficits, should be redrawn in the decade(s) to come.
In short, although the G20 has taken an impressive collective breath and blown with all their might, if all they are aiming to do is reinflate the wrong type of bubble then a real global solution still eludes us.
Also, Gordon Brown will no doubt be hoping for his latest bounce after all of this. I strongly suspect he won't get one and I'm sure we won't have to wait long to find out. I can almost hear the polling companies whirring away with phone calls and calculations as I type.
Posted by Jeff at 7:57 PM