The Broader, International Context for an Obama New Deal

Promoted. Originally posted 2009-03-14 09:07:50 -0500. -- GH

Today  Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will be meeting with President Obama in Washington. Their agenda will be focussed on the world economic crisis, although other subjects such as trade relations between Cuba and the United States are expected to be discussed as well.  Time Magazine discusses the Latin American aspect of the visit, and da Silva's potential role in helping to ease US relations with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.

Both presidents will be attending to important international conferences in April. On April 2 the annual Group of 20 meeting converence convenes in London. How to deal with toxic assets (better described--please excuse my vulgarity--as a furious debate on who will carry the can).  The banker's side of the story is discussed in this Bloomberg Wire. Later in the month Summit of the Americas wil be taking place in Trinidad. David Ignatius gives a more straightforward account of the issue under dispute in the Washington Post (in an article datelined tomorrow).


Leaders of the Group of 20 are talking about creating a new architecture for the imploding world economy. But there's a big risk that their crisis summit in London on April 2 will encourage a patched-up version of the instability that got us in trouble in the first place.

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The danger now, as economic activity slows around the globe, is that the G-20 leaders will seek recovery in a new version of the old, unbalanced system. That is, the nations of Europe and Asia will look to America, with its multitrillion-dollar stimulus and rescue programs, to rev up the world's sputtering engine. America, massively in debt, will go back to its role as import glutton, and the rest of the world will go back to selling us products. And then we're back to where we started.

An alternate proposal for reorganization of a global economic system has come from a BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) in a jointly issued communique which they are putting on the table for the upcoming G-20 meeting. This is a proposal that would offer an alternative not only to bubble economics but also to the controlling role of the US/British financial stranglehold over the world economy.Reuter's provides the full text of the BRIC proposal. This will obviously be a major agenda item in the Obama/da Silva meeting.  This is the BRIC countries first-ever joint communique which calls for their being given a bigger voice on International bodies, and in the words of Reuters signals "their growing political resolve to influence global affairs.




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