Saturday, March 14, 2009

G20 - Anglos still walking on air

Ministers from the G20 group of rich and emerging economic powers are to meet in the UK amid rifts over how to tackle the downturn. The US is calling for increased public spending. But some European governments stress the need to change the rules governing financial markets.

This need not be an either-or situation. Ministers should be capable of walking along and looking at the scenery at the same time.

The tension is between the Europeans, who are inclined to regulate the financial markets, and the Anglos, who still have residues of the free-market fundamentalism in their bloodstreams. The US and UK, in denial over the fact that their banksters have just run over the edge of a cliff, are hoping that once we are out of this little spot of bother, things will be able to carry on as before, with the money supply produced exclusively by private financial corporations for the exclusive profit of their exclusive shareholders.

The alternative view is that the economy that emerges from the current shambles will be focused on the real needs of real people, producing food, water, housing, health and energy in a realistic and sustainable way.

So there is an important debate going on at these talks. Let's hope that the voice of reason prevails, but let's not hold our breaths. Things will probably have ot get a lot worse before reality penetrates the fossilised mind-sets of the Treasury.

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