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Were you as impressed with George W’s Glorious Global Finance Gala as I was? What a show!
The leaders of the world’s 20 most powerful economies recently gathered in Washington to consider what to do about the spreading economic collapse. To get in the mood for addressing the topic, they started their one-day talkfest with a lavish White House dinner featuring Thyme-roasted rack of lamb. Hey – you can burn up a lot of calories grappling with economic Armageddon, so the Group of 20 needed to bulk up!
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The actual grappling consisted mostly of blathering and posturing. Then they grabbed lunch, took a group picture, and left town. And what, exactly, was accomplished? Much, according to a Bush spinmeister, who insisted that average Americans should “Take comfort from what happened today.” Well, okay, but what did happen? The leaders, he said, showed that they understand “the depth of the economic problems.”
Oh, good. Wow, I feel much better now, don’t you?
In fairness, I should note that the Groupees didn’t leave us totally empty handed, for they adopted a set of principles for all nations to ponder:
• Reinforce cooperation.
• Improve regulations.
• Promote market integrity.
• Reform international financial institutions.
• Strengthen transparency.
Oh, double-wow! A high school football coach couldn’t have come up with a better list of motivational platitudes to post on the locker room walls: Reinforce! Improve! Promote! Reform! Strengthen!
Meanwhile, corporations are shedding jobs, home foreclosures are rampant, and the economy is so poor that even Nevada brothels say they’re losing customers. And what is the Group of 20 leaders going to do about it? They say they’ll meet again in next April. Great – I hear lamb is good that time of year.
“As Leaders Wrestle With Economy, Developing Nations Get Ringside Seats,” www.nytimes.com, November 16, 2008.
“World Leaders Vow Joint Push to Aid Economy,” www.nytimes.com, November 16, 2008.
“Group of 20 agrees on plan,” Austin American Statesman, November 16, 2008.