Veinte Cervezas Por FavorJune 19, 2012 @ 2:17 PM EST
There is a lot of reporting coming out of the G-20 meeting which wraps today and some draft statements have been floating around which we will get to in a minute.
But just a few other comments first.
There has been a story that Pres. Obama’s after-dinner special informal meeting with European G-20 members was cancelled “after the dinner hosted by Mexico's President Felipe Calderon ran long”.
Comments surfaced later that participants had agreed to cancel because “everyone was tired with jet lag and the European debt crisis had been thoroughly discussed earlier in a frank and honest discussion.”
Angela Merkel said, “Everything that could have been said at the Obama meeting had been said at dinner, so we were done with the topic.”
Seems pretty incredible to be “done with the topic” of the European debt crisis so easily and others have wondered if the cancellation had anything to do with some heated comments which came out earlier. Pres. Obama has been pushing European leaders hard on the “importance of plans to stimulate growth.”
EC President Jose Manuel Barroso made some headlines by saying he “would not be lectured by anyone”. “Frankly, we are not coming here to receive lessons in terms of democracy or in terms of how to handle the economy.” He also made comments to the effect that the current European crisis had its roots in the U.S. mortgage fiasco, “"By the way this crisis was not originated in Europe… this crisis originated in North America and much of our financial sector was contaminated by, how can I put it, unorthodox practices, from some sectors of the financial market."
Well, perhaps the cancellation of the meeting allowed for some informal socializing, a few cervezas or margaritas, and a moonlit stroll on the beach.
Speaking of which, is anyone else struck by the irony of holding the G-20 last year at Cannes and this year at the luxurious beach resort of Los Cabos, Mexico, where it is reported that beachfront suites go for $3500/night? This amidst all the cries for “austerity”?
But we digress.
The G-20 will issue a final press release or communique today and the drafts which have been leaked look pretty boilerplate so far, saying in effect:
“We will take all necessary policy measures to safeguard the integrity and stability of the Euro-area and stand ready to co-ordinate and implement discretionary fiscal actions to support domestic demand. We are united in our resolve to promote growth and jobs.”
And then there was the big news earlier today on the pledges by several nations to help inflate the IMF’s crisis intervention fund, which has almost doubled to $456 billion, mainly from the “BRIC” nations.
Which also raises a question we were asking ourselves last night: who exactly is in the G-20?
It is pretty easy to guess at the top 10 or 12 nations but becomes a bit more difficult after that and we wonder what nation is the unfortunate twenty-first? (OK, stop reading and write down your guesses at the Top 20.)
Time is up and here they are:
Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union.
Which answers one of our questions. With the European Union represented as a whole, perhaps that twenty-first nation like a Sweden or Netherlands or someone else does not have to be offended after all.
Look for a final statement out of the G-20 later today.
David W. (aka The Underground Trader)
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