The G-20 Lets Us Down
I'm continually amazed by how easy it is for government officials to hoodwink most of the news media. All it takes is for a couple of leading finance ministers to get on roughly the same page, and we're reading/hearing about "substantial progress" or "major steps forward." If someone provides an articulate background briefing to a leading newspaper on the supposed debate within a group of countries, this becomes the dominant news story.
Saturday's G-20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors is a leading example. It was a disaster. We face what officials readily concede is the biggest financial and economic crisis since the 1930s, yet this conclave agreed precisely nothing that will make any difference. If the G-20 heads of government summit on April 2 is a similar failure, we will be staring at the real possibility of a global catastrophe. Yet the spinning storytellers of the G-7 have still managed to get much of the press peering in entirely the wrong direction.
For more on what would the right direction, take a look at my piece in Britain's Sunday Telegraph.
Also posted on Simon Johnson’s blog,