Bank lobby says no to G20 reform
I dug up this nugget from a couple of weeks ago – it seems that banks are back on the offensive – despite having caused the economic crisis.
The Institute of International Finance (IIF), a bank lobby group representing over 400 companies, said “a need to hold more capital, pay more taxes and other possible reforms could hit economic growth hard.” Thus, they urge the G20 to back off on regulation and reform. Convenient.
The G20 has certainly left the door open for this. It’s reorientation towards deficit cutting to satisfy financial markets, as well as the waning of G20 discussion of the bank tax, are both indications to financial institutions that they are in the drivers seat and might as well start driving. The banks know that G20 governments are already on their side and willing to give them what they want.
This is all very troubling, and says a lot about the extent to which we are held hostage to those that created the economic mess in the first place. If reform of any kind will hurt growth, doesn’t that mean we have set up a system in which we are handcuffed from doing anything that banks don’t want? Isn’t it time for a fundamental rethink given the deep crisis that the banks put us in?
There were dissenting voices at the conference where the IIF made its push against reform. “We find ourselves in a situation eerily reminiscent of the 1930s,” billionaire U.S. investor George Soros said. “Many governments have to reduce debt under pressure from financial markets. This is liable to push the global economy into a double dip.”
G8 countries have fallen $10B short of commitments: report
The report from Oxfam said the Group of Eight countries account for about 70 per cent of official development assistance, suggesting the G8 share of the $10-billion shortfall from 2005 summit pledges in Gleneagles, Scotland, is about $7 billion.
Given circumstances, there is a deep need for this aid, as it represents, in the words of Oxfam’s Mark Fried,”vital medicines, kids in school, help for women living in poverty and food for the hungry”
Calls for the aid must also come with demands for economic justice and autonomy. Trade and investment rules are stacked against the poorest countries of the world and then the G8 actively works to undermine self-sufficient initiatives puts forth by southern countries. Then they offer aid where they get to fully control the agenda and use it for political purposes (‘you want aid, do this…’). And they can’t even fulfill those aid commitments.