G20 Meeting On Financial Crisis A Failure

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A little less conversation a little more action please
All this aggravation ain’t satisfactioning me
A little more bite and a little less bark
A little less fight and a little more spark…Elvis Presley

The G20 financial summit did not yield much of any significance that could help staunch the bleeding brought on by the worldwide economic crisis.

Among the modest and and ill-defined suggestions from the meeting, members "urged governments to implement "appropriate" fiscal and monetary policies to shore up sagging economies, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The meeting lasted less than six hours.

The document issued by the members suggested more oversight of hedge funds, more transparency for trading in the global default swaps market, and greater supervision of credit rating agencies. All of these steps have been urged by central banks and economists for months. In other words, there was nothing new here and the proposals had no teeth. For the entire text of the summit declaration check here.

The document also called for a "colleges of supervisors" will be set up to monitor the world’s biggest financial institutions.

The G20 plans another meeting for April 2009. The world ought to be in the grips of the worst recession in seven decades by then, and it will be too late for governments to do much about it.

Douglas A. McIntyre