Outside looking in

White House announcement today —

Today, the President is inviting the leaders of the Group of 20 countries to a summit in the Washington, D.C. area, on November 15 to discuss financial markets and the global economy. The G-20 finance process, which includes key developed and emerging market countries, was established in 1999, after the last financial crisis with worldwide implications.

… G-20 members are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.

This will be a strange event.  

All polling trends indicate that it will be President-elect Obama by then, yet with 2 months of George Bush still go.  Even stranger, the G20 does not feature most of the countries currently in the news (or Edward’s posts) as current or likely candidates for needing national bailouts: Spain, Hungary, Iceland, Baltics, Pakistan.  What they have is a 1990s sense of where a crisis might be, which is not to say that Argentina, Turkey, and South Africa don’t have their problems now.  And of course getting the economies of the G20 back on track would help those not at the summit.  But allowing for the general uselessness of summits, does this one have any hope of success? 

Incidentally, the announcement strategically refers to the World Bank, IMF and UN invitees by their positions as heads of the organization and not name.  A good hedge on DSK’s job status!

2 thoughts on “Outside looking in

  1. Uh, if the “European Union” is part of this G20, as the text indicates, then the group _does_ feature Spain, Hungary and the Baltic states.

    Then again, I don’t understand why the “EU” is listed as a collective entity in G20, but Italy, France, Britain and Germany are still listed separately.

    It’s redundant. Sort of like saying that “the group includes the Nordic countries and Sweden”.


    J. J.

  2. Yes it’s incoherent. Does the EU speak for the EU states not there in their own capacity, and who speaks for the EU, Barroso or Sarkozy? The old Kissinger like (“if I want to phone Europe, who do I call”) bites again.

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