THE LONDON G-20 SUMMIT: GORDON BROWN'S 'NEW WORLD ORDER', OR MERELY ANOTHER DAMP SQUIB?
Notwithstanding the hoopla and the politically motivated euphoria by UK Premier, Gordon Brown (political desperation is surely the mother of invention for the beleaguered First Lord of the Treasury), in point of fact there were few concrete achievements coming from the London Summit. With perhaps the most important being that it did not break-up in disarray or disorder. Other than this admittedly important result, there does not seem to be any great or important results coming specifically from this Summit (id est., result or results which would not have occurred if the meeting in London never took place). Most of the monies for example (as Chris Giles noted in a first-rate article in this week-end's past Financial Times, see: "London Summit has little Impact on Global Economics", in http://www.ft.com) going to the IMF and the World Bank were already agreed to prior to the meeting in London. Similarly, it does not appear that the meeting was able to obtain any solid agreement on the more contentious issues of IMF voting rights (Belgium has more than the PRC), or was able to move forward an inch on the Doha trade round negotiations. And, of course the issue that had raised itself most prominently prior to the meeting, that being of the need (or lack thereof) for a world-wide fiscal stimulus, was politely dropped by the assembled leaders, since no consensus was possible on the topic. Which is more the pity since, this is one instance perhaps where the UK Premier and his American confrere the American President, are more right than wrong. With the thinking of Monsieur Sarkozy and Mme. Merkel, bearing all too much a resemblance to Weimar Chancellor Bruning, than one is entirely comfortable with. Indeed, of the five major items for positive decision that a report by the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London (Chatham House) idendified as being needed, only one, that relating to the increase in funds available to the IMF, were agreed to at the Summit (see: "New Ideas for the London Summit: Recommendations to the G20 Leaders," in www.chathamhouse.org.uk/G20). In short, one does not have to be an especially cynical individual (admittedly something which I can at times be labeled as), to claim that the Gordon Brown's 'New World Order', is merely another case of plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.