The G20 meeting in London is being hailed by many in the press as something of a success. No doubt, as a public relations exercise, it is. Certainly leaders like France's Nicolas Sarkozy gushing that the meeting achieved "more than we could have hoped for", and German Chancellor Angela Merkel asserting that the meeting yielded a "clearer financial market architecture, and a "very, very good, almost historic compromise." give one pause. (One wonders how something is "almost historic." An event is either in the annals or it isn't.)
In any case, at least one major paper, the New York Times, wasn't ready to jump on the G20 success story bandwagon. Just so, since despite pledging 1.1 trillion dollars to stem the tide of a global economic debacle, there were very few specifics offered by the assembled nations regarding how to deal with, as The Times put it, the "trillions of dollars in toxic assets clotting the financial system in the United States and Europe." In the meantime, count me among those skeptical of President Obama's proclamation, made at the conclusion of The Summit, that the world's nations had learned the lessons of history. Yes, it is true that, among other things, calls for protectionism are non existent. Yet there are new, perhaps even more egregious mistakes being made in the name of system preservation that are almost assuredly sowing the seeds for grave trouble down the line. I am, of course, referring to the pillaging of the U.S. citizenry's wealth by government on behalf of the very same malefactors who brought the nation's financial system to its knees. In an eerie echo of Depression era history, albeit of a central and southern European strain, the approach by the U.S. powers to the sins of the big banking system has been to ratchet up and defend a perverse fascist business model the likes of which has not been practiced since the awful days of Mussolini and Hitler.