We’re All Doomed. It’s Already Too Late.

As the G20 gets into full swing, there appears to be no shortage of pessmists professing that the entire talkfest risks being a momentous failure unless significant measures can be reached and agreed upon to address the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

Given that previous G20 meetings have focused on efforts to end global poverty, the prognosis, by their own scorecard is not good.

The French, are already talking about pulling out. Which isn’t really too much of a surprise really when you think about it. If history is anything to go by – the French are too busy quaffing bordeaux, puffing on Gitanes while scraping the croissant crumbs off the bedsheets as they prepare for the next shag – in order to be concerned about worldy affairs.

And who can blame them?

“Je ne moi” or ‘not me’ (as they say in France).

However, in a report published in The Australian, the head honcho of the United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has warned that failing to act to halt the global economic crisis could lead to widespread social unrest and failed states.

“What began as a financial crisis has become a global economic crisis,”

“I fear worse to come — a full-blown political crisis defined by growing social unrest, weakened governments and angry publics who have lost all faith in their leaders and their own future.”

He said the global economic downturn affected the poorest countries the most, and noted that in these countries “things fall apart alarmingly fast”.

“Unless we build a worldwide recovery we face a looming catastrophe in human development,” Mr Ban wrote.

World leaders meet in London today to decide how to tackle the global financial crisis, but are divided on whether to boost the world economy with an injection of capital, or to focus on new rules to prevent another such crisis.

Mr Ban called for a “truly global stimulus” package, and argued that developing countries need $US1 trillion over 2009 and 2010.

He added:

“There is a thin line between failing banks and failing countries, and we cross it at our peril.”

That’s all very well for him to say. There is no shortage of people making grandiose statements about the perilous state of affairs that currently surrounds us. But are things really that dire?

What do you think?

Is that a chocolate croissant sur le table…?

Advertisements

22 Responses

  1. Yep! Been sayin’ it fer months now…remember?

    G20 – talkfest…

    Global economy – never really existed – more like global greed…

    China playing the fiddle we all dance too…clever, too clever by half…

    When realisation dawns watch the sabre rattling begin…my fear is for my grandchildren and another war…seems each generation is burdened with one…

    …The Robber Barons are still at work…

    …who really pulls the global strings?

  2. Reb..hello gorgeous. It’s pas moi (not me) or ce n’est pas moi (it’s not me). I knew that those years of French lessons would come in handy one day.

    And from Reb:

    World leaders meet in London today to decide how to tackle the global financial crisis, but are divided on whether to boost the world economy with an injection of capital, or to focus on new rules to prevent another such crisis.

    Me thinks that an injection of capital minus new preventative rules means a looming next disaster. However, new rules will mean having to get over the idealogy of The Market Rules – Meet the Market etc.

  3. I have been harping on before about civil unrest and the election of extreme governments when the majority of the population become working poor due to corporate greed and unnecessary privatisation of essential public assets which leads to unaffordable price increases in the essentials of life.

    Maybe they are now waking up to the fact that history has shown this before.

    The greed has to stop.

    Why not do both, introduce a stimulus package with an injection of capital and also set the rules to prevent another crisis. Regarding poorest countries and extreme governments being elected look no further than south america.

  4. The truth behind the G20

  5. I think that for a large proportion of the global human population, outside of the Western luxury within which we find ourselves, things are dire (by our standards) indeed; just another day in poverty for them I guess.

    This gross imbalance, very obvious to the have-nots I’d suggest, can be expected to foster animosity.
    Putting down “terrorism” by way of militarisation is a self perpetuating entity.
    Hungry, desperate, subsistent people are much closer to unrest than those with a full stomach & relative safety.

    I posit no solution to what is such a vast issue.

    No doubt to me that the “way things are” (for want of a better description) are less than ideal for the many outside of the First World.
    It’s difficult not to anticipate things degenrating into conflict as everybody pulls in different directions.

    I think reb, that we, by virtue of our fortunate location can perhaps afford to be dismissive of the negative because realistically the wolf is a long way from our door here.
    This is not representative of the wider world however.
    Our current comfort may not forever be thus, but we can probably anticipate relative luxury in our own lifetimes.
    Because I have a child however the somewhat inevitable global levelling on the horizon is a definite concern.

  6. Thank you Min.

    I knew I could count on someone to correct mon francais.

  7. “when the majority of the population become working poor due to corporate greed and unnecessary privatisation of essential public assets which leads to unaffordable price increases in the essentials of life.”

    Oh brother……..Who sets those prices I wonder? Do they just fall from the air?

    “The greed has to stop”

    Yea, we can start with our own.

    “set the rules to prevent another crisis”

    Unfortunately a lot of rules were already in place, but what’s the point if nobody is going to enforce them? More laws are unnecessary and meaningless in such a context.

  8. C’est vrai. Tu est un homme tres agreable.

  9. For Reb et al..that was a wee bit impolite. It means. You’re right. You are a very likeable bloke.

  10. I think one of the great dangers we ignore has been the increased number of people being transfered into an increasingly casualised workforce as well as the definition and official numbers we’re fed.

    More to joblessness than official estimate of unemployment
    http://www.cch.com.au/au/News/ShowNews.aspx?ID=30343&Type=F&TopicIDNews=9&CategoryIDNews=0&u_i=39595
    By Garry Shilson-Josling, AAP Economist

    SYDNEY, March 27 AAP – The number officially unemployed is heading toward 600,000, but there are many more than that who are without jobs and want to work.

    Every year the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publishes its estimates of people of working age not in the labour force, or NILFs as they are known within the bureau.

    To know how someone would end up being tagged an NILF, you first have to know how the labour force is defined.

    It consists of the employed and the unemployed.

    So it may be something of a surprise to find that, as at September last year, there were no fewer than 1.54 million people 15 years and older who were jobless and wanting to work but who were not counted as unemployed, ABS figures released on Friday show.

    This was more than triple the number, 483,000, fitting the official definition of unemployed in September.

    Hence one of the main reasons I focus so heavily on private debt and housing affordability in this country.

    Think of the amount of casual work in the service sector, hospitality and retail as examples.

    Mark Davis’s comments ring true

    Land of Plenty: guest post by Mark Davis
    http://blogs.news.com.au/news/blogocracy/index.php/news/comments/land_of_plenty_guest_post_by_mark_davis/41522/P40/

    Australia’s ‘age of prosperity’, as Peter Costello calls it in his memoirs, has been underwritten by the mining boom (even as manufactured exports stagnated during his tenure) and massive increases in household debt (now more than $1 trillion about the same as the annual national output), even as the government has wound down its own debt. The national debt has in effect been privatised while, at the same time, risk has been shifted away from government and business onto the shoulders of ordinary people, in the shape of long working hours, casualisation, and the sort of uncertainty that is written in the fact that Australians take the least holidays of any western nation.

    So much for the magic of markets.

    And the so-called key to preventing a catastrophic collapse in the housing market is “each borrower’s ability to retain full employment during the economic downturn”

    Mortgage delinquencies rise
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25268991-12377,00.html
    MORTGAGE delinquencies in Australia on full-documentation loans deteriorated during the December quarter, while delinquencies on non-conforming low-documentation loans reached a record high, according to global ratings agency Fitch Ratings.

    Delinquencies on full-documentation home loans that are past 30 days due increased to 1.75 per cent for the December quarter from 1.5 per cent during the June 2008 quarter, Fitch said in a statement.

    But delinquencies on non-conforming, low-documentation loans that are past 30 days due now stands at a new record high of 19.73 per cent, reflecting the sector’s inability to refinance since the virtual closure of the low-documentation origination market, Fitch said.

    Fitch expects delinquencies to deteriorate further during the March quarter and a gulf to develop throughout 2009 between struggling borrowers and those feeling relief from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s five interest rate cuts since September.

    The key factor will be each borrower’s ability to retain full employment during the economic downturn, Fitch said.

  11. Too late? Of course it is. The opportune moment is history. BHP, for example, is currently 65% above its low and the Commonwealth Bank is more than 50% above its low.

    Of course it could be much worse. People could stop eating and drinking, go without clothes and live in caves,

  12. Sparta

    Why have extremist governments been elected in countries south of your own ?

  13. Actually…

    I think the entire thing is a just a media beat up.

    As TB says, The G20 is usually just a waste of space talk fest.

    The protesters do their thing.

    We watch it on TV..

    And three weeks later it’s all forgotten about…

    I’m not sure what Mr Ban means by “the global economic downturn affects the poorest countries the most, and noted that in these countries “things fall apart alarmingly fast”.

    How much more down trodden can a down trodden country get?

    Personally I think it’s good that Rev Kev is fraternising with the Chinese…

  14. I’m not sure what Mr Ban means by “the global economic downturn…

    …was that Mr Ban or Mr Bean?

    Well, the Rev Kev, may as well fraternise with the Chinese – he’s fast losing my “fraternity”…

  15. “Tu est un homme tres agreable.”

    mais non Min.! …reb est l’enfant terrible…:) The more successful one.

    N’

  16. Mais non Nas. Un enfant terrible? Pourquoi? Moi, je pense un ami tres agreable. Mais certainment il ya a un raison pour le considerer un enfant terrible.

    **Just means. Me I just think a good friend. But certainly there is a reason for ‘enfant terrible’ (le considerer). In a nutshell.

  17. The Webster’s Dictionary also defines an enfant terrible as an unusually successful person who is strikingly unorthodox, innovative, and/or avant-garde.
    (Wikipedia)

    🙂

    N’

  18. Nas..It means a terrible child, someone who makes candid statements.

    From below..the French don’t care what you say as long as you pronounce it correctly.

  19. “It means a terrible child, someone who makes candid statements.”

    Yes Min…but it has two meanings. It can be used in jest and somewhat complimentary…didn’t you see the intro to the 7.30 Report last night?

    Again: The Webster’s Dictionary also defines an enfant terrible as an unusually successful person who is strikingly unorthodox, innovative, and/or avant-garde.
    (Wikipedia)

    Min, I’m noticing you sometimes twist my words or meaning (inadvertently I hope) and it puts negative connotations on things.

    No probs if we have fun w/ each other…but please try not to make it look like I’m insulting others I respect when I’m not.

    Cheers
    N’

  20. “but please try not to make it look like I’m insulting others I respect when I’m not.”

    …of course there’s no need for this, the insults are always entirely deliberate.

  21. Mind yer own business dipstick.
    N’

  22. We reckon we’ve got problems? Around half the world’s population is somehow existing on $US 1 a day. Yes, one dollar a day.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: