Nov 18, 2008 5:49 pm


The most amazing feature of the G-20 summit is the good press it received, most especially from economic outlets. Typical is The economists which summed up the meeting as Not a Bad Weekend's Work

Why? Because of its guest list:

The most significant fact about the G20 meeting was the guest list. This was the first time that the leaders of all these rich and emerging economies—which between them represent almost 90% of global GDP—had gathered for an economic summit.

After all, nothing could be expected of a summit snobed by the American president elect. The WSJ hopes that a successful Doha round will punish Obama for his absence:

The leaders embraced a renewed effort to unblock global trade talks and promised they will refrain from using commercial barriers to protect their own industries for the next 12 months."We agreed on the importance of rejecting protectionism," Mr. Brown said."It is the first time that a meeting of world leaders has instructed ministers to come to an agreement and I think we will see an agreement in the next few weeks."

The initiative could provide a test for President-elect Barack Obama, who campaigned as a trade skeptic, but may be reluctant to reject a major round of trade talks as one of his first moves on the international stage. He didn't attend the summit, but sent former Iowa Rep. Jim Leach, a Republican, and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to meet with G-20 representatives.

The WSJ fails, of course, to mention is that while the US, Brazil, Austalia and the UK may have succeeded in including their desired text in the proclamation, their main rivals at the talks, India and China are in no mood for serious compromise.

Thus boosterism aside, Jose Carpintero got it right

So what exactly was achieved that could not be replicated with a few emails?

Oh, yes, the picture.

Well, at least Their Highness Leaders of the World didn't cause any more damage. Good news indeed.

The uncertainty involved in waiting for the ONE is causing damage enough!

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