G20: What’s the world saying. What do you think?


The G20 did all it could, according to Felix Salmon. He’s among many bloggers and commentators saying that the outcome was better than they expected. Take Paul Krugman’s short and concise take in the New York Times. And the Wall street 24/7  that asks ‘What if the G20 actually works’ were our expectations just too low? Can we hope for real change?

Kevin Drum isn’t ecstatic, yes a trillion dollars is a lot of money and good news form any countries but as he puts it…
“Obama was also said to be opposed to a greater role for international regulatory bodies, and he appears to have won that round.The draft section that called for regulators “to supervise cross-border institutions and to complete the establishment of colleges of supervisors for all significant cross-border financial firms” is gone.”

In the Huffington post the argument is about   world… this article says that ‘The developing world needs its own stimulus package’. This blog spells out exactly What the G20 Leaders’ Statement means for developing countries.

Carolyn Deere says that the G20 is a step in the right direction but not far enough. And this Thai article argues that the stimulus package will only prolong the agony.

Tax havens came strong in the statment and your connversation on World Have Your Say. This G20 Voice blogger writes about ‘What the G20 support notes say on tax havens’.

On the program yesterday we had intersteing comments about aid money to Africa with many contributors emailing, texting and calling in all saying pretty much teh same thing… ‘Give the aid to teh country but not the governments’ some suggested NGO’s.

31 Responses to “G20: What’s the world saying. What do you think?”

  1. 1 Steve in Boston
    April 3, 2009 at 12:29

    The G20 meeting was just the latest in a long series of band-aids that keep kicking the problem down the road where it gets bigger and bigger.

    The bottom line is that you can’t live off borrowed or counterfeit money forever, and that is what we in the US and Europe are doing.

    Obama and his friends all think the answer is to print more money so it can be lent out, i.e. “unlock the credit markets”–but who is going to lend to people who have little prospect of paying it back? These loans weren’t paid back before, what makes anyone think they will be paid pack now? And even if such loans are in fact made, what happens when they in fact aren’t paid back? Answer: we’re back to square one but with a much, much bigger problem.

    The bottom line is that there aren’t enough jobs in the world for everyone. There are too many people. If we wanted to create industries to supply jobs for an ever increasing population, we’re about 25 years too late. Credit is not the lifeblood of humanity–hard work is–and right now there is not enough for all these people to do.

    We can no longer even support ourselves, never mind the third world. Maybe all these pledges of money will turn out to be like past efforts to send aid to Africa–everyone talks a good game but in the final analysis, few actually send in the check.

    The first half of 20th century was rife with de-populating events–WWI and WWII, the Spanish Flu, the Soviet purges. These can only be avoided with thoughtful long-term planning–something that is almost impossible in a democracy where people only think about today.

    Unfortunately, we are long overdue.

  2. 2 Jim Newman
    April 3, 2009 at 12:36

    Hello again
    I’ve already said all I have to say on the G20 meeting. The only options discussed were how to repair the old Friedman financial system. Today I heard on Inside Story on Aljazeera an econonomics analyst suggest that instead of the the old system of usury where debts are piled on debts and everyone is out for a quick buck, we should adopt Sharia Law banking. From what I understood Sharia forbids usury and is based upon long term projects.
    Can anybody tell me where I can find out more about this financial system. It has caught my imagination.

  3. April 3, 2009 at 12:56

    G-20 is about leaders, and about the leading nation. Do they think about others ? Do they think about economically weak nation ? They have power and can lead this world anywhere, where they like.

    Big question is, Does the G20 actually works ???

  4. 4 Des Currie
    April 3, 2009 at 13:42

    The rich become richer and the poor pick up the debt.

  5. 5 Sonia
    April 3, 2009 at 13:50

    I find the comments today about the inability of Madonna to adopt a child from the British woman criticising Madonna ridiculous. Saying that she visited Malawi, making certain the cameras were present and the adoption public, is her own imagination. Wherever Madonna goes, unfortunately like any famous person, cameras follow. The fact that this child will supposedly grow up knowing she could have lived in the “lap of luxury” is something for the Malawi courts to consider. Let’s not place blame on Madonna for a very generous deed.

  6. 6 Patrick (Uganda)
    April 3, 2009 at 14:14

    Hello BBC, its unfortunate that the world is thinking of injecting more money in the economies without asking ourselves where did that (money) we’ve been using go?

    The question is not about money, its not about USA, the dollar or the like. The question is about MANAGEMENT. Without efficient and analytical emphasis being put managing circulations, we are yet to see another blow of this kind.

    The world is full of gamblers and speculators, people with money but without ‘tracking’. They invest here and there (giving a tentative confidence to the community). They reap and go. These shareholders quit immediately when a company’s returns reduces. Most of them are disguising in service provision.

    The world nolonger needs service providers who don’t provide product-related benefits, who are not researchers. Many microfinances are ‘reaping where they don’t sow’ Banks are losing it because of the investors – putting pressure on dividends hike without considering the consumption side.

    Its the service providers who are letting us down. In Africa, eversince IMF’s inception, bilateral and multilateral aid (money) has been flowing to Africa. Whats happening? Isn’t the IMF obliged to track this inflows? The amount intended to be injected in Africa is only giving African leaders excuses for not leaving power.

    Everything is in a mess. We don’t need laws, we need strong circulation management institutions.

    Patrick K.
    Makerere University Business School
    Uganda, EA

  7. April 3, 2009 at 14:36

    I did not vote for President Obama. Just sorry I was not smart enough to figure out what a wonderful, genuine couple he and his dear wife are. Totally feel good about the idea, that somehow the Americans elected a wonderful and entirely gifted world leader who most of the world is just impressed with.

    It causes them all to want to work with him to do what ever can be done with all the complicated problems, issues, situations. There really is hope.

    President is brilliant, and if he cannot figure out the best alternative for us and the mixing with all the nations of the world…..who ever could?

    I’m very proud of that First Family, and so proud that he and she were able to orchestrate a total self made rise to power and influence. Their wonderful family just reeks of love, intelligence, well meaning, and genuineness.

    He is a citizen of the world…..not just an American…..He’s everyone’s to be proud of.

    troop on the Oregon Coast

  8. 8 Bernard Okello
    April 3, 2009 at 15:15

    oh yeah here comes another chunk of money for our greedy so called African leaders.No wonder they where not invited coz the only thing they know is to go out there and ask for aid nothing more.
    I even feel by the strict laws they (G20)are about to implement the swiss accounts of these African leaders will now be exposed and they should be surely asked where the hell they got all that money considering that by the time they were getting the to their respective offices they had nothing in thier accounts.
    Thanx Ben in Juba

  9. April 3, 2009 at 16:30

    For us Africans, we are expecting the G20 Summit to bring relief to our continent especially the war ravished ones that are gearing towards economic recovery, so that we can put the past behind us and hope for a better future.

    Mohammed Kondawa

    Monrovia Liberia

  10. 10 Justin Durueke
    April 3, 2009 at 16:48

    The G-20 summit raised lots of issues and problems confronting the global community. In the past, conferences like this have also done same. I think the G-20 with its great ideas will bite the dust. Identifying the issues alone will not help the global community solve these problems. There has to be a second step which is implementation. During this stage, so many countries of the world will drag their feet. The global economic crunch started in the United States and Great Britain. The rest of the world saw it an Anglo-American problem initially. We all need to understand that the global economy is hyper-connected as what affects one nation, affects the other nations. Due to the fierce urgency of now, the world need to adopt a unified position and tackle the global economic crisis. Those credit markets need to unlocked, banks need to start lending again and most importantly there has to be oversight not just in America and Britain but all over the world.

  11. 11 David Macleod
    April 3, 2009 at 17:21

    There is nothing like a secret Swiss account
    For hiding an incredible amount.
    You can ignore those nasty faxes
    Telling you you’re owing taxes,
    Since the taxman cannot tax what he can’t count.

    Inspired [sic] by the Swiss ambassador to the U.K. defending Swiss banking practices.

  12. 12 Luci Smith
    April 3, 2009 at 17:24

    I prefer to be an optimist. I think that the Americans will have to look at their use of energy resources and lack of heath care and the exhorbitant expense of higher education, the crises of inner cities and the lack of infrastructure for people who do not use cars.
    America needs to become more people-friendly. If people lose their jobs, they should not be in danger of becoing homeless and children should not have to live in cars or on the street because some idiot sold their parent’s mortgage to a swindler.

    And Barack Obama has major things on his plate right now. The Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to keep him from passing any legislation and keep acting like this financial crisis came in with Obama instead of admitting responsibility for a reckless atmosphere and deregulation under Bush.

    If the G 20 gave world leaders a chance to chat and showed that Sarkozy is a wuss and Berlusconi a clown and Obama and Gordon Brown and Angela Merkel are hard pressed and trying to send out some good vibes, it was a good meeting. And if the Queen let herself be hugged by Michelle Obama and made a face at Berlusconi, then the Queen is totally cool and lives up to her reputation! As an observer, I find a big differerence between Queens and Princesses. As to G 8 and G 20, we’ll have to see by what happens.

    Looking forward to seeing you all in Copenhagen for the UN Climate Conference in December!

  13. 13 Faythe of Melbourne
    April 3, 2009 at 22:09

    Who ever lends the money will be able to rule the world in the future. So beware of geeks bearing gifts. It would be better to print the stuff.

  14. 14 Zita
    April 3, 2009 at 23:52

    It’s all done and dusted
    Where do we go from here?
    If the world economy has busted
    G20 gave the answer clear
    But make sure it’s not cash but in ‘kind’
    Services, exchanges, jobs and goods
    where sickness, starvation, you find
    Give medicines, personnel, foods.

  15. April 4, 2009 at 01:09

    World Government is the solution!

  16. 16 Rangam Mitra
    April 4, 2009 at 07:53

    This is in response to the query raised by Jim Newman about Shari’ah law.

    Shariah Law or possibly significant extracts from it, could very well be the basis of a new global financial structure. – It has the necessary ingredients for a system that can avoid the rampant growth of unadulterated conspicuous consumption which we have witnessed in our existing economic structure. The G20 meeting did what is could to establish a so called collective approach to the current crisis. However significant gaps and unchecked process that were the cause of the crisis and those that can still contribute to a melt down processes – remain in existence and un-addressed.

    What we need is a NEW VALUE SYSTEM using some of the principles of Shari’ah law
    There is enough on Shari’ah / Islamic law on the website. from various Islamic states and Institutions.

    There is a reasonably ‘ unbiased ‘ – (unbiased to the extent that it is not governed by the State where it is resident) institute called the Islamic Institute of Banking and Insurance in London – google them and get their web address and contact them to know more about Shari’ah Law

  17. April 4, 2009 at 12:15

    @Patrick in Uganda _ the question on where did all the money go? BBC cannot possibly answer that. Its like a time portal opened and mopped up the money from planet earth _ my musing really. I prefer this ‘no money’ situation to 3rd world war _ which I’m sure even our bones wouldn’t have survived. God remains God.

  18. 18 fanco
    April 4, 2009 at 12:19

    World’s changed.
    No bias, no wars
    just hand in hand!

  19. April 4, 2009 at 12:57

    Tax payers can worsing the whole economic crisis to it worst.If the G20 will not know the real cause of this economic crisis.rescuing banks and companies has discouraged many costumers to save with them.they also complain of not geting monies from them.The cause of the problem is from down to the top.The poor income earner.This is my view.1.The icrease strength of commodities has overcome our purchasing power. 2.The previous years percentage in between our pay and our savings is 50 50percent. But now.it has changed .expenditure is more than even our strenth,70percent expenditure high as compared with 30percent low income for about 70percent westerners .and very less for the poorest countries.Pay increase is very important in this crisis. Good income can save at least one unemployer. THANK YOU.Bye

  20. April 4, 2009 at 13:21

    Too many cooks spoil the broth.

  21. 21 Dinesh
    April 4, 2009 at 17:18

    Great commitments, but are we not missing the point – to address the basic faulty regulations and lack of transparency. Great leaders got together and their wives too, but how much of this is relevant to a common man. Have they decided how to address the GREED factor that led to all this. Have they laid down rules how to tackle and punish the person who will be the culprit in future? Only what they have decided is how to continue to blow around the taxpayer’s money in each country.

    Obama is interested to maintain his charm, Merkel is interested to comfortably tackle her next elections, Sarkozy wishes to get over with his term comfortably, Italy is least interested, China is only trying to avoid a social unrest, India hides behind General elections to avoid making any key decisions, Brazil blames the white community and Russia switches off / on the taps at its own will and comfort – and so on it goes on without addressing the main issues.

    All leaders feel – common man will learn to live with the uncertainties as time passes – inflation, deflation, credit squeeze, high / low interest rates, scams that wipe out 30 to 40% of your wealth all are new worries of your life in addition to security and terrorism. No leader is capable – all are applying trial and error tactics and measures – as they have nothing to lose – all leaders and their ministers have made enough for their lives – let the common man suffer as they have nowhere to go and no other option to replace these leaders.

  22. 22 Ian mackenzie
    April 6, 2009 at 06:25

    Thank goodness for our PM Gordon Brown and his team. One shudders to think what might have happened had DC and the man who reportedly cannot be trusted were in charge?

  23. 23 juris bogdanovs
    April 6, 2009 at 14:01

    Albert Einstein: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”…

    This crisis have been reated by politics of debts. Because the rich countries have been to greedy. Greed is the root of all issues today. The rich countries give the money to poor countries in order to get big profit, not to help them.

    They set up the conditions for the credit takers that made the poor one’s got traped in the economic slavery. And, of course, the poor countries at the one point became to week to pay their debts.

    And this situation is going to ruine the whole World sistem. Because of the wrong and greedy “helping sistem”. But now nobody can afford to ruine that all.

    The World is now traped in the trap wich was set for the others in order to become very rich and powerful. The rich countries must now save the poor one’s by making new debts for them in order to save themselves.

    The next crisis will come much more sooner and it will by much more deeper…

    I just can not understand whay the leaders of G20 is so glad abot “this solution”?… It is stupidity. Reed the first sentence in this comment.

  24. 24 Ian MacKenzie
    April 6, 2009 at 14:28

    The G20 brings home to one how important it is to have someone of the stature of our PM Gordon Brown at the helm. Well done to him, is it not canny that Britain produces the most competent leader in times of real danger.

  25. 25 Jim Newman
    April 7, 2009 at 17:50

    Hello again
    To Rangam Mitra. Thank you I shall follow your advice.

  26. 26 mark
    April 7, 2009 at 22:47

    I am a squaddie,

    I am fed up with protecting human rights in my own country only for the media to persecute the police for doing their job. Freedom of speech and the freedom of protest are things that I have signed away.
    While I regret the death of the guy at the G20 protests, if he was not there he would not have died. I don’t know about anyone else, but if I am surrounded by police, I should not be there. I have no freedom of speech due to my job and would appreciate you not disclosing my name or e-mail but I feel very angry at the disproportionate coverage of the police at this time.
    They have a very difficult job to do in our multi-ethnic climate in the UK. If their task is restricted, then the first thing the UK populace will know of it it will be another bomb in london. And then it will be their fault. They cannot win.
    The UK has become a legislation state and has disappeared up it’s own legal system.
    A court of common sense would be appropriate.

    To hear about these stories makes me frustrated and, to quote Llloyd George, ‘a land fit for heroes to live in’ seems an awful long way off.

    Maybe you will ignore this but I feel that a lot of things happening in the UK need to be put in perspective.

  27. 27 Mari
    April 8, 2009 at 10:45

    Is beating a passer by with his hands in his pocket “Doing their job” mark? I appreciate that it is not easy for the police in many situations (in my local area for instance), but does that absolve the police officer who pushed this man to the ground?

    Because you have signed away your right to protest and speak, does that mean i don’t have that right either?

    “but if I am surrounded by police, I should not be there. ”

    And by your logic, if the police are there in force, then my right to have my say in my own country (where i pay taxes and contribute to this economy with my hard work) is automatically null? THEY decide what I can do?

  28. 28 Tom Green
    April 9, 2009 at 17:49

    I think I see where you are coming from Mark, and both our Police Services and our Armed Forces are increasingly under very public scrutiny, which adds to the stresses and strains of doing a good job.
    I think safeguards are necessary, as whilst most of our police and our service personnel are task-centred and aware of their role and their limitations there will always be individuals in such teams who challenge those “rules of engagement” and the secret of having an excellent, rather than just good, Military Unit or Police Squad is to keep those individuals and indeed those teams, within proper bounds.
    I am old enough to remember cases like Blair Peach hitting the news, and this case certainly made the police force look at its way of operation. The police canteen culturre here certainly to me saeemed to take over from the real duty of individuials in that service.
    The US military’s most notorious accepted failure of duty was probably the My Lai massacres where civilians were simply gunned down.
    Without open questioning of such cases and smaller incidents there are always, because people are people,going to be those who would choose from preference or ignorance, to misuse police or military power.
    I am also not so sure you have signed all your rights away! You may have to selective what causes you take up, but if you were ever involved in or witness to any incident where you felt you were being forced into doing a job which went against your own morals and the true aims of your unit, I hope you would feel able to take part in any proper enquiry into whatever had happened. That would give you back your freedom of speech.

  29. 29 Dennis Junior
    April 10, 2009 at 04:36


    I think that these leaders were in many ways…in between a rock & a hard place…Since they had limited options in what they could do for the Global Economy!

    ~Dennis Junior~

  30. April 23, 2009 at 20:30

    G20 :What’s the world saying,It was very unfortunate that,the world anger,bitterness,pain and individual starvation changed everything at the G20 summit in Britain that day,two heads are better than one,but day to day job loses prediction and bank rescuing has discouraged many,,they see this as a punishment on them,because,they ‘are suffering not the banks,others too see this as a rescuing plan to protect their own investment without thinking of the people or anybody,others too are saying,the world leaders are handling this economic crisis so slow and intending to pay wages and salaries very small to increase this economic crisis.

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