Some G-20 Thoughts

Article excerpt


The meeting of the Group of 20 nations is only days away. The preparations have been made. Some streets, repaved, soon will be closed to mere mortals. Thousands of law officers will make sure we don't disturb the comfort and safety of a few.

The nonchalant middle-aged and elderly people who will make decisions are ready, fingers crossed for their attempts to find new solutions to problems they caused in the past.

Most know, but few will admit, to the causes of the economic meltdown that has to be confronted. These causes can be found in Asia, with China symbolic in its dominance of the world's trade in consumer goods and a massive foreign-exchange reserve.

The G-20 grew out of the financial disasters or bubbles during the Clinton administration, with Mr. Clinton and his spinmeister Strobe Talbott working with their puppy dog, Tony Blair, Britain's prime minister, to contain any emerging problems.

No one this week wants to call the G-20 what it is -- a thoroughly undemocratic group of the wealthiest states in the world randomly selected by a group of finance ministers in 1999. The G-20 has no charter. It debates on our future privately and shovels out censored versions of its pondering to waiting and salivating journalists.

Of course the triumvirate of President Clinton, Strobe and Tony were helped by the world's communists and social democrats. With assistance from the most affluent countries, some confidence in our dollar was restored by a cabal that included Egypt's Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali, a nephew of the former U.N. secretary-general, Mexico's Finance Minister Jose Angel Gurria and Italy's minister of economy and finance, Tommaso Padoa Schioppa.

And George Orwell himself would have been delighted to find that, at the time of the 2007 economic panics, Trevor Andrew Manuel, South Africa's Marxist finance minister, himself tutored, according to some intelligence experts, by the East German STASI -- the Gestapo's Red counterpart -- was in charge of "development projects."

Manuel was a member of Steve Biko's Black Consciousness Movement and went to Botswana to join the African National Congress (ANC) guerrillas. He is said to have visited other countries, including Libya, Ireland and Germany, to gain support for the ANC. As the government of South Africa changed, Manuel became the finance minister for the span from 1996 until 2009.

And there was a gaggle of American economists: Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, Laura D'Andrea Tyson and Paul Volcker, all of whom survived during the Bush years and are now, once again, advising President Barack Obama. …