The G20 Lets Us Down

I’m continually amazed by how easy it is for government officials to hoodwink most of the news media.  All it takes is for a couple of leading finance ministers to get on roughly the same page, and we’re reading/hearing about “substantial progress” or “major steps forward.”  If someone provides an articulate background briefing to a leading newspaper on the supposed debate within a group of countries, this becomes the dominant news story.

Saturday’s G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors is a leading example.  It was a disaster – we face what officials readily concede is the biggest financial and economic crisis since the 1930s, yet this conclave agreed precisely nothing that will make any difference.  If the G20 heads of government summit on April 2nd is a similar failure, we will be staring at the real possibility of a global catastrophe.  Yet the spinning storytellers of the G7 have still managed to get much of the press peering in entirely the wrong direction.

For more on what would the right direction, take a look at my piece in Britain’s Sunday Telegraph.


Originally published at The Baseline Scenario and reproduced here with the author’s permission.

6 Responses to "The G20 Lets Us Down"

  1. Curly   March 15, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Brown finds two insurmountable problems at G20

  2. Guest   March 15, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    I wonder if anybody have anything positive to say about the world on RGE Monitor. It seems like all the University professors and big time economist is indicating the world is going to hell. How can things go that bad if everyone in the world is trying to better them selfs by the end of the day. Are we going to starve? or Are we going to lose our shelter? Probably not!

    • Guest   March 16, 2009 at 3:42 pm

      It is a matter of whether you choose to educate yourself with more realistic analyses of the state of the world ecomomy or you choose to read unrealistic, deceptive news by most mainstream media. Do you expect anyone in this blog to commend AIG for their blatant croyism, looting of the US taxpayers?

  3. Mark   March 16, 2009 at 12:09 am

    I often find myself searching out Mr. Johnson’s commentary precisely because, as he says, it’s easy for the government to hoodwink the media. Well, it’s happened again and my suspicion that, contrary to the media, the G20 failed to achieve anything, is now vindicated. Thank you Simon Johnson!

  4. Guest   March 16, 2009 at 5:17 am

    Dear Guest, I’m guessing positive comments will come when they are deserved. I don’t think this site is one run by a bunch of lunatics who lost their meds. I bet they can’t wait to be positive. I know I can’t, but I’m not going to do it out of sheer bloody mindedness. Look out the window. Look at your stock portfolio. By your comment I assume you still have one. Read the analysis and say why it’s wrong. It’s not. While the deleveraging takes place, I’m afraid there will be very few positive stoeies, and if you think markets haven’t been fundamentally altered, think again.

  5. Guest   March 16, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Ok…. Let me get this strange. Do you prefer the media to tell the truth about everything? What if yesterdays headline was “The G20 Summit didn’t get anything accomplish! And global catastrophe is coming!!” How would people react to a news like that?Well anyways… the last I looked at the my portfolio I still have 50,000 grand in my mattress, about 63oz of 999 gold, 500 containers of can food and my wife and kids is still around (unfortunately)