What Can They Agree On?

The world is waiting on tenterhooks as the representatives and ministers from the G7, the G20, and the IMF try to figure out what in the dickens to do about the worldwide financial crisis:

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Key nations threw their support behind efforts to tackle the financial turmoil and amid grim warnings of a “meltdown” European leaders pledged their own action ahead of a crisis summit Sunday.

With governments anxiously hoping to calm markets, the Group of 20 countries which account for 85 percent of the global economy said they had agreed to use “all financial and economic tools” to calm the storm.

The Washington meetings and others around the world stressed that efforts would be coordinated.

The G20 said action would be “closely communicated so that the action of one country does not come at the expense of others or the stability of the system as a whole,” said a joint statement.

The 20 nations endorsed a five point plan agreed by the Group of Seven (G7) industrial powers at the weekend meetings in Washington to prevent the “failure” of key financial institutions.

As of this writing no actual agreement or plan of action had been reached.

Perhaps it’s my paranoia and xenophobia speaking but I can’t help but wondering if the world consensus isn’t that it’s the U. S.’s fault and that we should do something to get the entire world out of the fix that it finds itself in.

I certainly agree that we Americans deserve our share of the blame but we didn’t get into this fix entirely on our own. Greed is not a uniquely American quality; it is a human quality. We didn’t force banks all over the world to engage in speculative activities and excessive leveraging. Nor were we the only beneficiaries of these activities.

FILED UNDER: General,
Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.

Comments

  1. Steve Plunk says:

    It was more than greed that got us here, it was misguided government policies and rotten government personnel appointments.

    Greed is manageable but intellectual corruption of government is a force we have yet to master. This is a bit like the theory of the commons. When the mortgage market became dominated by Fannie and Freddie no one saw any reason to exercise restraint and plan for the future. The government would reign things in when the time was right they thought. But the government ended up being the most irrational player of all and ruined it for everyone.

    Perhaps the foreign powers have some questions for our government and why they failed to act responsibly. We all knew this was coming yet no one acted. If I was a European leader that’s what I would ask.

  2. Brett says:

    I don’t think so, Dave – at least not anymore. Most of the ire has been reserved by EU members for other EU members about this, particularly in the case of Gordon Brown.

  3. Alex Knapp says:

    Fannie and Freddie aren’t entirely to blame for this. Not even close. They weren’t the ones leveraging the securities. They were just handing out shaky mortgages–as were a ton of other banks. Placing the blame solely on Fannie and Freddie is to miss huge chunks of the problem. If Fannie and Freddie didn’t exist, there still would have been bad loans, there still would have been a housing bubble, there still would have been over-leveraged securities, and we’d still be in this mess. Just perhaps to a different degree.

  4. Michael says:

    Perhaps it’s my paranoia and xenophobia speaking but I can’t help but wondering if the world consensus isn’t that it’s the U. S.’s fault and that we should do something to get the entire world out of the fix that it finds itself in.

    Sounds good to me, let’s nationalize France.

  5. Anthony says:

    Speaking as a Brit, there’s a certain amount of blame cast at the US simply on the basis that “when the US sneezes, we catch a cold”. But I don’t think that’s anything like the whole story. There’s a general recognition that we didn’t have our own house in order. Also, as one of the other commenters notes, correctly, an awful lot of the focus is now on the EU. If anything, I think the US has lapsed into something of a second order concern among the British public at large.

    I suppose there may be hordes of people in France and Germany blaming it all on the US, but I rather suspect not. There’s lots of blame to go round.

  6. I agree with some things,but I think that economy is to full human needs but to all mens not only USA people.How many money has wasted USA governments in no sense wars.Vietnam an Irak are only two.In Vietnam never was clear the real reasons of USA envolvement at least tthe economical reason.Save a poor country of the hand of comunism? Result more a hundred thousand americans young people death,money wasted in weapons abandoned or ruined.But make also the econmics looses of a poor country desvasted including human capital and natural ressouces by a decade of conflict.Irak is more irrational.No masive weapons founded,no terrorism erradicated.The cost the same not only to USA takpayer also to irakian.
    In the Wall Street crisis is not only banks and financial institution in question is the political
    who runs the economies.On back of hidden curtains are also men playing the comedy.The real reason of debacle is lack of democracy of market economy when this decitions are taken by tiny group of people who control the economic power of a nation
    taking in private meeting
    very unethical economic resolution an impose to rest of society with the argument of complrxity of economy science.The money barons dont go to ruin if you mind economic ruins as a a poor in a third world country with can not have food an basis health care and even water.The economies of a half dollar by day income.
    These are the real roots of the problem.Now all world is nervous thinking were are the solutions of economical dificulties.But are noy a easy way to solve the present situation because the principe of the end is a turn on ethic basis of economy not only in USA.And this is a hard work because all mankind must to share the wealth of world and a solidarian economy must be the future economy.You cannot solve actual dificulties with theoretical basis formulated 200 years ago.The times changes.
    basis some 200 years old.

  7. Web Smith says:

    Will it be a surprise when these bankers agree on the idea that the taxpayers need to give the banks more money?

    If you’re going to pass money out, it should be passed out to the population. Then the banks will prosper once more as they strive to get it.


    You have the power to change this.

  8. Triumph says:

    The problem here is the liberals who created this mess and their wimpy Euro-allies who exacerbated it.

    The more liberals you have, the more problems you have.

  9. G.A.Phillips says:

    The problem here is the liberals who created this mess and their wimpy Euro-allies who exacerbated it.

    The more liberals you have, the more problems you have.

    yup.