Stiglitz: America's double-standard on economic crises infuriates the poor world

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75 Responses to “Stiglitz: America's double-standard on economic crises infuriates the poor world”

  1. remmelt says:

    Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Who’s watching the watchers?

    etc.

  2. Takuan says:

    you work for free, Ravi?

  3. Anonymous says:

    The IMF are still trying to force feed Britain extreme right wing ideology – even going so far as to criticise our centre-left government for not privatising enough! This, when even America herself is nationalising her banks. The right wing medicine did not work and we should be allowed to administer our own medicine, thank you very much. We should have the right to declare *our* independence from the United States.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Talk about stating the obvious. I think the pertinent question should be why reasonably educated people take capitalist propaganda at face value, when they snigger at that of other repressive systems.

  5. Neon Tooth says:

    The U.S. is different, in that it has a wonderful bargaining chip, the power to threaten to topple goverments that don’t offer its plutocrats favorable business terms. That’s all part of that wonderful ‘free market’ that conservatives love to crow about.

  6. Scott Bieser says:

    30 years of bad decisions? More like 110 years of mistake to deal with mistake to deal with mistake …

  7. zuzu says:

    I think the pertinent question should be why reasonably educated people take capitalist propaganda at face value, when they snigger at that of other repressive systems.

    “Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under socialism, it’s just the opposite.” — John Kenneth Galbraith (IIRC)

    However, I think the better point is made in The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich A. Hayek.

    To summarize, if you think the tyranny of big corporations are bad, the tyranny of government coercion is a thousand fold worse. Refuse a directive at work, and the worst case is being fired. Refuse a directive from the government, and you’ll be thrown in jail or worse.

  8. tp1024 says:

    A good economic system must:

    make those richer who contribute more to society
    make those poorer who contribute less to society
    make no-one so rich as to dominate society
    make no-one so poor as to be down and out of society

    Not one system has achieved this yet.

  9. Baldhead says:

    I think so far I prefer spinelessness. After all, Bush had a spine, and was prepared to stand up for what he believed in. Even for years after being proven dead wrong.

    And yeah, this whole thing is kind of grapefruit and oranges. Both are fruit, and look the same if you don’t look carefully, but in the end they are still very different.

  10. zuzu says:

    A good economic system must:

    Wrong. Economics is descriptive, not prescriptive.

    c.f. the is-ought problem

    And the lesson is… no one actually knows anything about economics in 2009, and we are all just making it up as we go.

    Actually, we do. It’s just politically inconvenient.

    Just as Homer Simpson was voted trash commissioner due to “crazy promises”.

    Just as California is bankrupt because people want to vote themselves money.

  11. Purple Library Guy says:

    Not 30 years of bad decisions. They just seem bad if you’re most voters, so if you assume the US is a democracy you’ll imagine they’re “bad” decisions. What you’re looking at is 30 years of decisions designed to siphon money from everyone else into the pockets of a small group of very rich Americans; roughly, the class of people capable of paying for lobbyists, campaign funds, and cushy corporate directorships after leaving public office. The “everyone else” includes third world countries, but it also includes the US middle class and lower.
    Those policies have worked very, very well so far. Sure, they’ve undermined the US economy like crazy, and seriously messed up standards of living most other places, but it’s not guaranteed that these people really care about that. They seem to be betting that every time they suck up the juices from one kind of thing in one place, they can invest the money in some other kind of thing in some other place. They may stop the pond from growing, but as long as they get to be bigger and bigger frogs in it that may still count as a win.

    Anyone got any plans to do anything about it? Really, we’re such wimps in the Anglo world (US, Canada, England, Australia). The French would be tearing Paris apart if their government tried to pull the kind of garbage Washington pulls on Americans with nary a peep.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Even the US economy is not regulated, which is proved from the recent financial crisis!

  13. PJDK says:

    Of course everyone is bodly assuming America is right now and wrong then….

  14. PJDK says:

    bodly? boldly.

    Also its worth pointing out that America is not demanding anyone else pay for its bail outs, unlike other crises

  15. Anonymous says:

    Economics is descriptive, not prescriptive.

    Yeah, right. Sciences don’t use the word “virtue” as a term of art. (As in “the virtues of the market,” if you need everything spelled out.)

  16. Anonymous says:

    Also its worth pointing out that America is not demanding anyone else pay for its bail outs, unlike other crises

    Well, unless you count invading Iraq to keep it from doing business in Euros. Etc.

  17. tp1024 says:

    Zuzu:

    thanks for the reminder. (From a guy who goes around reminding the grammar nazis of the same thing with grammar *grrr* ;) )

  18. TwiliteMinotaur says:

    What went wrong has been known, screamed, faxed, repeatedly and endlessly to the sociopathic echelons of the Brotherhood of the Golden Parachute, and their spineless, puppet-mastered “government” for years.

    What do we get?

    Feigned Shock, outrage and C-Span populist schadenfreude sideshows. Countless imaginary bankers will be shot in Tom Clancy kitsch. In horror flicks we will spill the blood of a thousand evil loan officers, sliced and diced like so much CDO. But backstage, “oh please, fuck my constituency in the ass for a few more trillion, just please pay for my campaign. Rape our children. And our children’s children, with your mighty debt.”

    “More regulation”, “Better regulation”? Hah! They they own the fucking regulators. They wipe their ass with regulators and regulators thank them with AAA ratings and a blind eye.

    What went wrong?

    Truth is, they don’t give a fuck “what went wrong”. You will pay their 115 million dollar Cayman Island bonus with a junket at the Villa Cupola as an appetizer if the economy melts down or not. Whether it’s forking bits of your exploded pinata carcass into their mouth in an economic crisis or sucking lifeblood from the real economy during a “Great Moderation”, they will eat you either way, you poor people.

    You *poor people*.

    ‘Infuriated’, pff.

    The poor are a dish best served infuriated.

  19. Timothy Hutton says:

    From the quoted article:

    They lectured Indonesia about being tough on its banks–and demanded that the government not bail them out. What a terrible precedent this would set, they said, and what a terrible intervention in the Swiss-clock mechanisms of the free market.

    While noting, yet not truely agreeing with, the snarky comment comparing the free market to swiss clocks, the above was, is, and always will be true – IMHO.

  20. PaulR says:

    America is hugely hypocritical…

    No, it’s the ruling class which is hypocritical. It only sees government (in whatever form) and/or business, as a means transfer wealth from everyone else to themselves.

    The cost to others isn’t important – whether it’s lives, health, the environment, or whatever.

  21. Timothy Hutton says:

    Daniel said:

    The people in the developing countries sees this as proof that the medicine the IMF administers is not really medicine, but poison. These were pushed by the rich countries, acting through the IMF, and designed to destroy the economies of these countries so that they do not compete against the rich countries.

    Daniel, you eliminate the possibility that those in charge are ignorant about the implications of their well-intentioned actions? When the IMF steps in, the economy in question is destroyed – the deed is done, the IMF hopes to get them back up and running, to assert anything else is just silly. When IMF effots fails, it is more likely out of ignorance than malice – very few government plans succeed. When loaves of bread are selling for zillions of Zimbabwe (dollars?) there is very little anyone can do to “bring down the economy” – they are already circling the bowl…

  22. zuzu says:

    While noting, yet not truely agreeing with, the snarky comment comparing the free market to swiss clocks, the above was, is, and always will be true – IMHO.

    Huh? If anything, a truly Free Market is analogous to the Blind Watchmaker. It’s a distributed discovery process.

    The “swiss clock” analogy implies an “intelligent designer”… which is actually the embodiment of socialism.

  23. GuidoDavid says:

    Well, Scandinavia consistently does well in life expectancy, wealth, literacy, inequality, corruption and happiness. Better than the US in most of the fields. And they are considered very competitive countries.

    They have bigger govt than the Americans, but lower *much lower!, incarceration rates. As far as I remember, there has not been big cases of people prosecuted on obscenity charges. So, even if I think that the ideal society would one where no laws bound us and we self regulate (or choose the kibbutz that more closely fits us), I cannot but stop and look at there. And I think that a pre requisite for a society like I want is universal education and basic needs met.

    If a given company controls everything (like the Fruit Comapnies in central America) they can screw your life. And if they are not regulated, they can get to the size where they can threaten your life, silence you and buy the system to remain untouched.

    Certainly children are optional, but they should not suffer by the mistakes of their parents and they should have the right to education, food and health care no matter how much money their parents have. That is good for society and individuals. You do not want crazy, resentful kids with guns trying to kill you, see what happens here in Venezuela concerning youth crime.

    Maybe, for the kind of society I want, we need more technology: self-replicators, nanotech, advanced biotech, ubiquituous computing, etc.ç. Maybe I take Bitchun society too seriously, but if we look at all the societies we have now, the more kind for humans that allow free expression and developing of personality are the Scandinavian societies. Their systems have proven to be successful, we are not talking about clever arguments on why big govt. is bad or good, we are talking about free, prosperous, well educated and healthy people . We are talking about facts. If high taxes are the price needed to pay for such a thing, so be it. Better that than a police state and full jails to achieve the same (or worse) results. I realize that my ideals may be platonic, achieving them might be asymptotic. But we have good stuff right now. I’d settle for that worldwide. How exactly we will lose freedom?

  24. Anonymous says:

    One thing that frustrates me on BoingBoing are the discussions of economics. America is just as (potentially) hamstrung by lenders as poor countries are.

    The U.S. and IMF set restrictions on poor countries for the same reason banks set them on riskier borrowers: its their money, and they want to make sure its worth the risk lending it out.

    The Chinese could soon do the same thing to the U.S. the next time America comes asking for loans—and then you’ll get your lack of hypocrisy, but you’ll also get an economic sh*tstorm like you’ve never seen, one that brings down rich and poor countries alike.

  25. Rindan says:

    I would say that the article is partially true. We are responding differently than what was prescribed during the east Asian crisis. Part of that is because the people actually… you know… learned stuff.

    The cry of hypocrisy some times rises to a deafening screech. Some times, this is a good thing. Beating the piss out of the catholic church with a bible for their gleeful child raping cover ups is a great time to beat someone over the head with their hypocrisy, especially when they have not rectified their behavior.

    There are other times when it is a whole hell of a lot less productive. When a politician or intellectual changes their mind in the face of new evidence, that is okay. Beating them in the face with their ‘hypocrisy’ just creates a breed of politicians and intellectuals that upon declaring it is sunny and then being shoved outside into the rain will continue to declare it sunny for fear of being called a hypocrite. Principles are nice, but the ability to perceive reality is nicer.

    This is one such example. The IMF / US treasury / etc knows that it screwed up during the east Asian crisis. There are more than a few books and papers in wide circulation that pick apart the screw ups from both people inside and out. That isn’t to say that all of their advice was bad. Their advice came about directly from observations world wide, but especially in South America, where nations plunged into far more damning hyper inflation. The East Asian crisis sucked, but years of slow economic growth beat the hell out of hyper inflation where you literally can’t pay someone enough to start a new business and the entire economy implodes in on itself.

    This entire ‘economics’ thing is a learning experience. You are talking about system that is a nearly infinitely complex to begin with that is also rapidly changing its own rules. Even if you knew “the answer” for 1909, it would be meaningless in 2009. Anyone who claims to know “the answer” is completely full of shit. The best you can do is rough out a crude model, try and learn some lessons from history realizing that the rules change with time, and take a stab at using what you have learned to do better this time around.

    Finally, I wouldn’t be so gleeful that the US hasn’t followed the failed advice given during the East Asian crisis. Know one knows for sure that what is being tried right now is working any better. We certainly don’t know if a year or two down the road if inflation is going to spike. I’m pretty hopeful, but I recognize that I know enough to know that I have no clue how the horribly complex world economic system is going to respond to what world governments and institutions are trying. If the US jumps (deeper) into a black hole it is going drag the rest of the world with it. People world wide might be wishing the US went after inflation with far more zeal a year or two from now. Like I said, I am hopeful. Obama seems pragmatic enough to set ideology aside and deal with reality. Time will tell though.

  26. zuzu says:

    The East Asian crisis sucked, but years of slow economic growth beat the hell out of hyper inflation where you literally can’t pay someone enough to start a new business and the entire economy implodes in on itself.

    Wait, isn’t hyperinflation exactly what the government is creating right now?

    The best you can do is rough out a crude model, try and learn some lessons from history realizing that the rules change with time, and take a stab at using what you have learned to do better this time around.

    You’re referring to the Historical School.

    But, consider the Methodenstreit (“debate over methods”):

    The Historical School contended that economists could develop new and better social laws from the collection and study of statistics and historical materials, and distrusted theories not derived from historical experience. Thus, the German Historical School focused on specific dynamic institutions as the largest variable in changes in political economy. The Historical School were themselves reacting against materialist determinism, the idea that human action could, and would (once science advanced enough), be explained as physical and chemical reactions.

    The Austrian School by contrast believed that economics was the work of philosophical logic and could only ever be about developing rules from first principles — seeing human motives and social interaction as far too complex to be amenable to statistical analysis — and purporting their theories of human action to be universally valid.

  27. Takuan says:

    Mexican plutocrats live under constant fear of kidnap for ransom of themselves or their children. You will know something has changed when the same applies in America.

  28. PJDK says:

    It’s also worth noting the IMF is taking a very different view of this crisis in the poorer countries that have been hit. If they weren’t you could make a much more reasonable claim of hypocracy.

    How dare you not act the same way as your predecessors 10 years ago!

  29. scribblescribble says:

    The treatment of Asian and developing countries by IMF and U.S. was more than arrogantly hypocritical, it was deliberate.

    Read John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hitman. Recruited by the NSA (!!) and deployed as a “consultant” by IMF to write “analyses” of developing economies that deliberately:

    * forced them to take on huge loans
    * funneled that money to U.S. corporations
    * guaranteed these corps access to natural resources

    It’s a fascinating book.

  30. zuzu says:

    Read John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hitman. … It’s a fascinating book.

    True that! I also highly recommend that book.

  31. GuidoDavid says:

    Quoted from the article:
    “Not surprisingly, people in developing countries became less and less convinced that Western help was motivated by altruism. They suspected that the free-market rhetoric—“the Washington consensus,” as it is known in shorthand—was just a cover for the old commercial interests. Suspicions were reinforced by the West’s own hypocrisy. Europe and America didn’t open up their own markets to the agricultural produce of the Third World, which was often all these poor countries had to offer. They forced developing countries to eliminate subsidies aimed at creating new industries, even as they provided massive subsidies to their own farmers.”

    The hypocrisy goes beyond “learning from these ten years”.

    And things like this make my blood really boil. BTW, I just bought a Sachs’ book “The End of Poverty” is it any good? Or it is just about giving money to poor people and solving all problems?

  32. uebertragung says:

    Makes me sad.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Surprisingly enough, it is easier to GIVE advice than it is to TAKE it. Especially good advice.
    Also its worth pointing out that America is not demanding anyone else pay for its bail outs, unlike other crises
    Well the U.S. Government IS asking to borrow the money for bailouts, just like others. The REAL question is, when will the Chicoms become insistant about telling US what to do before they lend us more money?

  34. Ugly Canuck says:

    Why should we give a hoot what big-wig Americans have to say?
    The only ones who have ever honestly cared about such are America’s foreign water-carriers and lick-spittles – the rest of the practises of other govs. has been to follow any ‘foreign’ advice only to the extent that it is perceived as helping their own interests.
    Which, in another context, has ever been the commercial (ie private) sector’s response to any “advice” whatsoever from rulers or govs, democratic or despotic…whenever such ‘advice’ is not backed up by enacted or decreed legislation or regulations, backed up with penalties for non-compliance.

  35. netposer says:

    Boing Boing please replace the word “America” with “Obama”. If this blog post was written a year earlier you would have used the word “Bush”. Thanks.

  36. Stephen says:

    I don’t think IMF has the power to ram anything down the throat of the United Kingdom. But the fact that they’re still taking the approach seen in their recent consultations with UK means that they are still ramming this approach down the throats of countries with less leverage.

  37. scribblescribble says:

    Timothy Hutton said:

    When IMF efforts fail, it is more likely out of ignorance than malice.

    Not so. See earlier comments (#25, #26) on Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins.

  38. failix says:

    Bush isn’t Obama. Bush deserves to get blamed for as many things as possible throughout the rest of his life. Obama doesn’t (for now at least).

  39. Timothy Hutton says:

    Zuzu – I was questioning the very thing you are questioning, the comparison between “swiss-clocks” and the free market economy – my agreement was with the “no bank bailout” statement that preceeded it.

  40. remmelt says:

    Paulr:

    No, it’s the ruling class which is hypocritical.

    Zing!

  41. dculberson says:

    netposer, actually the Asian crisis under discussion took place before Obama’s presidency. And the bank bailouts also took place before Obama’s presidency.

    Not that I should be feeding the trolls, of course…

  42. Inkstain says:

    Fair or not, the economics of America are slightly different than those of poor countries.

  43. Moriarty says:

    If there was a Wikipedia article, there would be [who?] tags all over the place. The question of whether or not the accusations of hypocrisy are accurate aside, how is it that Mr. Stiglitz is able to speak for billions of people?

  44. Anonymous says:

    when will the Chicoms become insistant about telling US what to do before they lend us more money?

    If China ever stops lending more every year, it will quickly discover America has no special intention to pay any of the old loans back. Why should it? Who’s gonna make us? Whatcha gonna do about it? Besides, like, not lend us any more money?

    These are all just scraps of paper, and America still has all the guns.

  45. mypalmike says:

    This just in: the US is a hegemonic state that aims to optimize its wealth and power through military, political, and economic means.

  46. Anonymous says:

    And when the current bailouts and protectionism make things much worse as they did in the 20s and every time they’ve been tried before…. Will you update this story to say how the IMF was right and the US is wonderful when it’s advising poor nations but not wise enough to take its own medecine?

    The recipients of aid have a convenient target to blame when they fix their economic systems and people who had grown accustomed to the unsustainable subsidies get hurt. The US has nobody to deflect the blame. Politicians would have to admit that they’ve been misleading people for decades. Easier to just make the lies bigger and kick the ball down the field to their successors.

  47. dainel says:

    The people in the developing countries sees this as proof that the medicine the IMF administers is not really medicine, but poison. These were pushed by the rich countries, acting through the IMF, and designed to destroy the economies of these countries so that they do not compete against the rich countries.

    If the medicine was so good then, how come the rich countries are not taking it themselves now?

  48. Citryphus says:

    Yep, the bailouts and deficit spending are hypocritical. The important difference, however, is that the world still wants to lend the US money, whereas those other countries had to go hat in hand to the IMF. Should the US ever reach that low I expect we’ll also have to swallow the IMF’s awful medicine.

  49. tim says:

    #9 POSTED BY ZUZU, JUNE 12, 2009 2:50 AM
    A good economic system must:
    Wrong. Economics is descriptive, not prescriptive.

    Wrong – or perhaps more accurately , irrelevant.
    Whilst the pseudo-science of economics should be descriptive (and analytical and predictive etc etc) rather than prescriptive, economic policy is pretty much by definition prescriptive. Policy is supposed to be about what you want to happen, and is supposed to be informed by science so that it will achieve that. When you mix something that is still a long way from being truly scientific with the deluded fantasies, deranged idiocies and venality of politics you are bound to get trouble.

  50. Patrick Austin says:

    Yeah, if you asked a man on the street in Maputo about the US banking collapse, this is exactly the argument he’d give. Everyone in the third world is up in arms.

  51. Anonymous says:

    I fourth the recommendations for reading the book Confessions of an Economic Hitman, where the author describes in great detail that the actions of the IMF and the US Government were deliberate, they knew what they were prescribing exactly as Stiglitz has described.

  52. Takuan says:

    just what IS the citizenship of the hundred richest people in the world? Or should I say “citzenships”?

  53. zuzu says:

    it means not only that you are fired, but that you will starve to death and your children will have no education or health care.

    You can find another job, at least so you won’t starve. (Also, you’d be wise to save most of your money when you are earning — that’s the personal safety net.)

    Don’t have children if you’re not rich enough to afford an education and healthcare for them. Children are optional.

    I am anarchist, but I am also a pragmatic person, and the best quality of life in the world is achieved in countries with huge taxes and big governments. But lots of personal freedom, also.

    1.) No one can quantify “quality of life”, so that argument is moot.

    2.) I count three inherent contradictions in what you said vis-a-vis anarchism, big government, and personal freedom.

  54. zuzu says:

    If the medicine was so good then, how come the rich countries are not taking it themselves now?

    The medicine is good. Just that no one likes taking their medicine.

    just what IS the citizenship of the hundred richest people in the world? Or should I say “citzenships”?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_traveler#Five_Flag_Theory

  55. zuzu says:

    economic policy is pretty much by definition prescriptive

    “Economic policy” is a practice of politics, not economics.

  56. GuidoDavid says:

    Zuzu:
    If the control of the corporation is absolute, and there are no safety nets, it means not only that you are fired, but that you will starve to death and your children will have no education or health care. How is that better than jail?

    I am anarchist, but I am also a pragmatic person, and the best quality of life in the world is achieved in countries with huge taxes and big governments. But lots of personal freedom, also.

  57. jphilby says:

    Ship of fools.

  58. Anonymous says:

    See, it worked out this way for two reasons.

    1> We made other people do the hard things, because that’s what actually works. It sucks, but it’s the fastest way to fix the problem.

    2> We didn’t do it ourselves, because it’s painful and unpleasant, and the people in charge new that if they tried to force that stuff on us, angry masses would have pulled them from their beds in the middle of the night and gutted them using blunted wooden spoons dipped in a paste made of salt and lemon juice.

    Because Americans aren’t used to hardship, and won’t accept it even if it’s for the best.

    ~~TT

  59. jetfx says:

    @ #32

    If you hadn’t have said it, I would have. The US economy and those of the developing world are not on level playing fields. The US has access to plenty of credit, whereas the developing world doesn’t, and can’t spend its way out of a recession.

    It’s still hypocritical though.

  60. Takuan says:

    tax havens around the world are under fire from the rich countries governments. Where are the wealthy fleeing to?

  61. GuidoDavid says:

    “Why should we give a hoot what big-wig Americans have to say? ”

    Why should we stop paying attention to somebody just because he happened to be born in a certain country?
    Are Canadians, Finns and Swedish people the only ones who can talk about international econonomy? If you are going to criticize his arguments go ahead. But starting your criticism with references to his nationality is ad hominem big time.

    So, now Bolivia is the same than Indonesia and Bangladesh and Venezuela. But the precious US is different, and so is Europe. We must open our borders, do not put any tax, say no to tariffs, but we can only export raw materials and produce, while your farmers get subsidies. If we try to export manufactured goods, we get tariffs.

    Yeah, right, extremely fair, and it explains perfectly why the US should be held to other standards. Because you say so…

    OTOH, that near sighted attitude of not allowing countries to develop using taxes is what allowed China to become such a huge industrial superpower.

    Enjoy.

  62. Anonymous says:

    @9 Zuzu:
    Wrong. Economics is descriptive, not prescriptive.

    There’s no conflict between that and what TP1024 said. It looks like he was simply defining the term “good”, so that he could discuss which economic systems fulfilled the criteria.

  63. noen says:

    “Everyone in the third world is up in arms.”

    Wha’cha gonna do ’bout it huh punk, huh?

  64. Mindpowered says:

    “Everyone in the third world is up in arms.”

    That’s how we know the crisis has legs.

  65. nehpetsE says:

    Its ok to blame Obama for generally being a spineless, but America’s current financial problems are the cumulative result of 30 years of bad decisions.

  66. Procrastes says:

    And the lesson is… no one actually knows anything about economics in 2009, and we are all just making it up as we go.

    Someday, someone will come up with a stable economic system that is irresistible to primates, then we won’t have to convince, coerce or con anyone into following it. It’ll be boring as hell, but our robot overlords will enjoy watching our silly financial antics.

  67. Rob says:

    America is hugely hypocritical, yes. Was that not clear by now?

  68. Anonymous says:

    The lesson is that we may not have a fail/fool-proof plan for sustainable economic development, but that we do know what *doesn’t* work. And that maybe those imposing policy on the developing world should start taking note.

  69. GuidoDavid says:

    Zuzu:
    LOL. But everything is slower there.

  70. Stephen says:

    The next economic crisis which is specific to poor countries and not rich countries will be an interesting test of the G20 claim that “we now understand that the Bretton Woods system does not work in the modern world.” (that’s not an exact quote but a paraphrase of the part of the statement of the last G20 meeting). By setting up a specific set of rules, the G20 may or may not treat themselves as constrained by those rules when it comes to a crisis that is not directly effecting the rich. By using the G20 as the venue for rule making, rather than the G7, I think the odds the odds of treating poor countries more equally has increased.

  71. Stephen says:

    Here’s the G20 April 2 communique:
    http://www.g20.org/Documents/final-communique.pdf
    It’s technical in a financial sense, but very important and interesting. Keep in mind the G20 is not just US/Europe. Here’s their membership info (which is also a bit weird and technical in places):
    http://www.g20.org/about_what_is_g20.aspx

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