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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Correction: Sarkozy goes to Washington! Indeed, Washington DC!

For what, really? Bush is out and, the man you have to deal with, Obama, is not quite the President- although he is the President elect and will be at the meetings. At least I hope so!

These meetings that are scheduled for as early as November, this month, will include, by Sarkozy's words, countries from the G-8 and emerging economies outside of the G-8; like China, India and Brazil. As not to cause feelings of exclusion, you see! They would want to take advantage of the global financial crisis too. Have an exuse to go to the USofA. Meet some of their relatives on tax-payer money. They have people to fire. They have companies to nationalize. Industries to subsidize. Elections are right around the corner. This is no time to say "not me" in this credit squeeze of a global financial crisis!!!

And, this is no time for the EU to say "not them" when we need to have foreign regulators telling you how to spend your money.

Everyone wants in!

Quite serious and very frankly however, it was smart and prudent to invite the emerging economies. They are virtually superpowers in their own regions and countries in their sphere of influence, who may not have done anything to deserve anything, would feel it double- even though there are talks of a growing de-coupling effect of the emerging economies from the US and the EU. In fact, these EM's are the hegemonic forces within their regions- China in Asia, India in Indo-Asia (which includes Pakistan, Indonesia and some part's of South-Eastern Asia) and Brazil, with the entire Latin American arm, including Argentina, in tow. We would hope that Mexico, just for posterity and Australia, just because, will be invited as well. They are no different than the other emerging economies, in regards to fundamental market dynamics- although they are a little smaller in economies, people and military power, in varying rights.

However, it may be little too late for Sarkozy, to show up at a Bush White house, with demands- and all that. It almost seems fake. If the situation not so dire, one would have called it a "going away party" for Bush. However, it has some merit to it and something positive, we hope, can come of it.

For one, folks are looking to make the IMF a central force, regulating and lending, to international financial institutions. Proponents say it will, the IMF, work towards providing a master "fund of fund's" (sounds familiar) in times of crisis like this. I, for one, would welcome a back up fund, but, it would work against the idea's of free competition and loss to gain factors in the market? For example, if companies, are going to expect a bail out every time they go ape-wall on us, then, who is to tell them or stop them from doing it again- with little less regard for the integrity of the institution.

I am one, who happened to think that letting Lehman go down the tubes, was a good thing. For one, it would have taught the system and players a valuable lesson. And, Lehman, a brand name, would have been bought and cut up and carved, with its personnel in tow, to the best and brightest. Like what has eventually happened. Never to grace Wall Street, again in addition. But, that's me.

Secondly, setting the IMF in play, keeps our eyes off of the ball in regards to "regulating properly" the financial markets in domestic jurisdictions; which in this case, is the issue in the USofA. Its just that the US was big enough, to topple the world with a collapse in its industry. What does the EU want? More control over US and world financial institutions and industry? Sounds like this is what the IMF, would in effect, be doing. Moreover, like capital punishment is not a strong deterrent to crime, it, as does with the IMF, takes our eye off of the real issues and we look for solutions after the crime has been committed, or, after disaster strikes and then place our bets on how to move forward afterwards. Perhaps its a little bit of Utopian thinking on my part, to ask mere mortal men, to anticipate disaster before it happens. But, why make it more possible to fall into ordinary and regular traps, by looking the other way, if you don't have to?

In any event, if the IMF can play a pivotal role and not just on paper, in international regulation- like the WTO membership- then, and maybe then, we would have some movement and clearer standards. But, I seriously doubt that any country, would say, openly, that they would like for foreigners to be in charge of how they spend their money in their own country. That sounds too unbelievable. Even for Magic Man Sarkozy!

In any event, everyone meets in New York, at least, by this month. (The last time, the EU wanted New York, at the request of Sarkozy because, he wanted to go where all of the trouble started. But, it will be DC afterall. Probably a last minute decision)

Youri
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