Friday, April 03, 2009

G20 deal: strengths and weaknesses

George Monbiot sums it up well: "No expense is spared saving the banks. Every expense is spared saving the biosphere".

A trillion here, a trillion there for the banking system. (How the trillions trip off the tongue). An unspecified amount to "make the transition to clean, innovative, resource efficient low carbon technologies and infrastructure".

The strength lies in the fact that the world leaders are agreed in the Keynesian approach of Government investment into the economy; they are deaf to the ultra-conservative and libertarian ideologues, of which David Cameron's conservatism, or at least one phase of it's confused hodge-podge of sound bite policies, is a small part.

The weakness is that despite the best efforts of Sarkozy and Merkel (and fair play to them for pushing for regulation against the obsessive Anglo-Saxon free marketeers), the toxic assets are still at large, dark winged carrion eaters waiting to come home and feast on the cadavers of the world's banking system. The more Governments pump into the banks, the more they can dive their beaked and bloody faces into the swollen bellies of the system.

What is needed is the registration of all derivatives, their detailed examination for evidence of fraud, and to bring the astronomical debts back to bankrupt the accounts of the CEOs and bonus boys who bought into them. In this way, the debt will die with the bankruptcies. Without this, all the fiscal stimuli, past, present and future, paid into the system will disappear into cyberspace.

What is also missing is a clear, detailed and specific investment into a global Green New Deal.
This is the reality aspect of the whole affair. It is not just a financial problem that we face; there is also Global Warming and Peak Oil challenges to be addressed.

And another thing: there is a civil liberties problem. While the world leaders were inside the ExCel centre, socialising, concerned citizens were having a different sort of interaction: kettling.

The politicians have a choice; either they listen to the voice of the people, and bring us on board to work together to save people and planet, or they impose a perverse form of social order with shields and truncheons. The former leads to success; the latter leads to conflict and war.

The choice is ours.

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