24 March 2009

All onboard the Anglo deficit spend hype train

I would read the latest Leap 2020 piece for another take on all this bailout hype euphoria and the G20 undercurrent critical of Europe.

"If we found this a relevant theme, it is because it represents in our opinion a deliberate attempt on the part of Wall Street and the City (2) to make the world believe in some rupture within the EU and to instil the idea that some « deadly » risk is weighing on the Eurozone, by endlessly conveying phony news on a “banking risk coming from Eastern Europe” and by stigmatizing a “cold-feeted” Eurozone as opposed to the “voluntarist” actions initiated by the Americans and the Bristish. One aim is also to divert the attention from the increasing financial problems encountered in New York and London, and to weaken the Europe position on the eve of the G20 summit."

Australia talks up the reserve currency status of old bucko.....and gently warns about eastern europe....

"Everybody agreed its fiscal stimulus plus," Mr Swan said. "We've got to do something about the flow of credit in the financial system. We've got to reform our international financial institutions."

The meeting also consolidated the dramatic shift towards a new power structure for running the global financial system, which offers a greater role for Australia and fast-developing countries such as China and Brazil.

The US, Japan and European countries vowed to share control of the global financial architecture with a broader group of nations, prompting Mr Swan to welcome the growing influence of the G20.

"Hopefully, we are seeing the eclipse of the G7 and the rise of the G20," he told The Australian. "That is a change that is good for Australia and good for the world because it reflects the fact that the G20 is where the growth in the world economy is happening, in places like China and India."

His comments came as US President Barack Obama said in Washington that the solution to the recession would involve fiscal stimulus and financial regulation.

Asked whether he favoured stimulus over regulation, Mr Obama said all nations must spend to compensate for the "drastic contraction" in global demand.

"We're not unique in that position," Mr Obama said. "Gordon Brown feels the same way, as does President Hu in China. Kevin Rudd has taken similar steps in Australia."

The power shift to the G20 was symbolised by the US surrendering its traditional power to appoint the president of the World Bank, and Europe giving up its monopoly on the top job at the IMF.

The memberships of two lesser-known financial groupings, the Financial Stability Forum and the Basel Committee, were broadened to give Australia and developing nations such as China and India greater roles in developing new regulations and redesigning the financial structure of recent decades.

"Seeing these other institutions ... now move to a more G20 representative style is really important in cementing the future of the G20 as opposed to the G7", which excludes Australia, Mr Swan said.

The G20, whose members make up 85 per cent of the world's GDP, was formed a decade ago as a forum for finance ministers and central bank governors and held its first summit of government leaders only last November in Washington in response to the economic crisis.

But the Obama administration yesterday displayed a new US willingness to share power in response to the global recession. The host, British Chancellor Alistair Darling, said: "We cannot carry on as if the world hasn't changed in the last 60 years."

US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said he was delighted with the agreement at the meeting that trade protection should be resisted and that monetary policy and tax-and-spend powers should be used to fight the recession."

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