The G20 Outlind A Plan For Salvation

The G20 meeting to solve the world’s economic crisis has concluded. No definitive word yet on whether or not we awaken on Monday to see that all is well again but what they accomplished can be found in this communique courtesy of the WSJ.

Now if you don’t have time to read it let me tell you in a couple of sentences what they agreed upon. In general, they agreed that things have to be done and they have to talk to each other about the things that need to be done and they want their finance ministers to study the things that need to be done and get back to everyone later. They also announce that they had reached agreement on five key objectives during the conference. I found the first one to be the most profound. They reached a common understanding of the root causes of the global crisis. They chose, however, not to share this with any of us, so we are all left still wondering what went wrong.

They actually did agree, as much as you can at these sorts of things, on a few things that actually have some substance. They were:

Reject protectionism, which exacerbates rather than mitigates financial and economic challenges;
Strive to reach an agreement this year on modalities that leads to an ambitious outcome to the Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations;

Refrain from imposing any new trade or investment barriers for the next 12 months;
and

Reaffirm development assistance commitments and urge both developed and emerging economies to undertake commitments consistent with their capacities and roles in the global economy.

Sounds good but we’ll see. If anything those goals either give Obama fits or provide him with cover to begin reneging on his wilder campaign promises. It certainly won’t, however, please his friends in Big Labor or on the Left side of the party.

Tom Lindmark

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