G20 Summit & the protests in London streets

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The Group of Twenty (G20)

“The Group of Twenty (G-20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors was established in 1999 to bring together systemically important industrialized and developing economies to discuss key issues in the global economy. The inaugural meeting of the G-20 took place in Berlin, on December 15-16, 1999, hosted by German and Canadian finance ministers.

The G-20 is an informal forum that promotes open and constructive discussion between industrial and emerging-market countries on key issues related to global economic stability. By contributing to the strengthening of the international financial architecture and providing opportunities for dialogue on national policies, international co-operation, and international financial institutions, the G-20 helps to support growth and development across the globe.

The G-20 is made up of the finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and also the European Union who is represented by the rotating Council presidency and the European Central Bank.”—-Source: http://www.g20.org/

Meeting in London, UK

The G20 leaders of major economies worldwide are meeting in London to thresh out measures to solve the conomic crisis. The one day summit on April 2, 2009 will be attended by countries from where ¾ of the earth’s people live and generate 80% of the world’s trade. They will focus on reforming rules of international banking, investments and trade, funding to stimulate the economy, and oversight over the global markets—to stave off the effects of the worsening economy.

France’s Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy earlier threatened to leave the conference if leaders can’t come up with a strong international regulation of the financial markets which is opposed by Britain and the United States. China’s Central Bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan and Finance Minister Xie Xuren called for reforming the international financial system, with Zhou adding a proposal to replace the dollar as the global currency. IMF Dominique H. Strauss and Brazilian Pres. Luis Inacio Lula da Silva think having a global currency other than the US dollar is a reasonable idea.

Earlier, da Silva decried that poor countries had to suffer because of the mistakes of rich nations and the crisis is caused by “white people with blue eyes” who appeared all-knowing before the economic downturn.

Attending the summit with big promise because of his popularity, US President Barack Obama, comes with a huge baggage of spending — an over-bloated domestic budget that puts taxpayers money in line and the finances of future generation. A growing number of Americans are pessimistic that Obama will succeed in countering the economic meltdown that treathens to bankrupt America. There is disapproval to his aggressive government regulation and overspending.

Many G20 nations question how America, bogged by astronomical budget deficits and debts and blamed for the bad economy, is using its dollar to bring health to the economy. With differing suggestions to solve the crisis, leader attendees have to work beyond mere cooperation.

The heads of state from the top industrial nations are met with opposition from about 1,200 anti-capitalists, anarchists, and environmental groups in the British capital. People frustrated with the economic slump battle truncheon-wielding policemen with knives, stones, and eggs. At the eve of the meeting, an angry protester held a placard which says, “It’s our money that they have stolen.”

There is a mix of high expectation and pessimism for this summit. Confidence in the financial system is low. Poor and developing countries, some on the edge of collapse, are alarmed that a protracted money crisis can push economies to fall and cause instability and chaos.

Setting aside $250 billion as a rescue fund to bail out fragile economies has been proposed. “I’m going to ask the G20 summit to support a global expansion of trade finance of at least $100 billion to help revive trade in all parts of the world,” said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. (Photo Credit: Ben Heine x 2) =0=

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