Tag Archives: g-bits
G20 finance meet. Hotel strike? Key G20 resource,…

G20 finance meet. Hotel strike? Key G20 resource,…

A few notes on a busy day. Some of these things are all over the news, so I’ll keep it brief and with links.  Just want to make sure to have the days news all available to readers.

—The G20 finance ministers and central bankers are meeting in Busan, South Korea, trying to keep the ball rolling on post-crisis economic reform.  The main approach is a decision between pushing growth through continued stimulus (lower interest rates, etc…) , or focusing on cutting deficits.  They see it as a “need to strike the right balance between trimming deficits and sustaining economic growth”  The Bank of Canada, by raising interests rates this week, started the process away from stimulus before other G20 countries.

There is no talk of how these measures will affect populations, just the general idea that by doing whatever is necessary to rescue the economy, we are all better off.  Despite a lot of wrangling and trepidation about how it will all work out, all the leaders have bought into a consensus that may not be best for the population or planet – making the world safe for capitalism at all costs.

—hotel workers at 32 Toronto hotels vote to strike – i LOVE their timing —leverage!  I’m sorry G20 leaders and entourage, you can’t stay at my place.

—the Dominion has produced a fantastic special issue on the G20, both layout and content-wise. There are stories on migrant justice, Canada’s Iran policy, the maternal and child health plan, and much more – all tied to the G8/G20 agenda. Perhaps most useful is a couple of pages of fine graphics on the G8 and G20 in relation to food security, debt relief, arms and the IMF and World Bank, which will get you up to speed in no time. And they are only 3 bucks each.  Contact me if you want copies: darren@g20breakdown.com or you can check with toronto.mediacoop.ca

It’s an invaluable resource heading into the next 3 weeks.

—I added the perimeter map (with a link to a map of the surveillance camera locations), and an excellent piece called “3 reasons you should attend the G20 protests” written by Greg Shupak.  Check it out.

—I’m not properly using my blog’s overwhelming power to speak to the masses if I don’t say a quick word about Rue McClanahan who died today.  Just a couple of weeks ago I had the chance to have a bit of a renaissance with that lovely show from my childhood and saw about 7 or 8 episodes.  Still as charming as ever. Thanks and RIP RUE.

—why is it that when the immense arsenal got shown off today, for the media it was like big boys and their toys.  Just a big list of the arsenal, happy talk with the police, and no hard questions.  I may have missed them, but there certainly not here.  List a little, but at least 50% of that article should be ripping apart how insane this is.  Instead, it legitimizes it.

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Royal Bank, German speculation, Harper agenda

Royal Bank, German speculation, Harper agenda

I only have time to put forth a few links, as I am traveling for work right now and will be a bit indisposed the next few days. But I have some original articles in the pipeline for next week…

Anarchist group claims responsibility for Tuesday’s bank firebombing
A fine and balanced reportage and analysis of the Royal bank bombing in Ottawa.

And here is another take, from a blog I can’t seem to find the author of. It doesn’t seem like a particularly politically or social justice minded blog, which is quite refreshing for such a strong opinion and critique. The author simply feels strongly.

Germany moves to clamp down on speculative trading

Germany moved Tuesday to clamp down on speculative trading as it sought to ease market volatility that many believe has helped cause the current crisis hitting Greece and the eurozone.
Germany’s securities market regulator Bafin immediately banned naked short sales of certain securities, in particular the government bonds of the 16 countries that use the euro.

Moderators skipped question on Gulf oil spill at Harper forum

If you are watching, this gys modus operandi is so simple and transparent: ‘Anything beyond the economy, including issues frequently covered by the national media, is a “sideshow,” the Prime Minster said.’

And even if you went with the economy angle, it was still “Like other participants, she was asked to submit questions last Friday for the Monday. Here’s what she proposed:

“In light of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the reluctance of the companies involved to accept responsibility, what new control measures for oil drillers will the Canadian government put in place to reduce the risk of oil spills in Canadian waters, and ensure the continuance of our marine ecosystems and the sustainability of our fisheries?”
She said she tried to put an “economic slant” on it, hoping that it would be answered. But it wasn’t to be.
She wasn’t the only one disappointed, either. Two students interviewed by Le Devoir, who did not want their names used, told the Quebec newspaper the questions they posed to the Prime Minister were re-written by his team.
They pointed in particular to the lone question on maternal health. “The initial question included mention of abortion but it as rewritten to remove the controversial passage,” one of the students indicated, suggesting it was altered by the “people in Stephen Harper’s office.”

Orders of the Day: Don’t worry, banking sector — Canada’s back, and we’ve got yours!

In an effort to stave off the creeping menace that is the global bank tax, Canada is, we’re told, dispatching a tiger team of ministers to Mumbai (Finance Minister Jim Flaherty), Shanghai (Treasury Board President Stockwell Day), Washington (International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan) and the National Press Theatre right here in Ottawa (Industry Minister Tony Clement) as part of a “worldwide campaign” against the insidious initiative, in hopes of killing it deader than a dodo-shaped doorknob before next month’s G8/20 summits. After all, it’s our International Year — shouldn’t we get to set the agenda?

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Keepin’ tabs – New G20 & G8 links & stories

Keepin’ tabs – New G20 & G8 links & stories

Here are a bunch of links. I’m mailing this one in a bit due to time pressures and wanting to get these important links out there. No annotated links tonight – yer on your own! Have a look.

World: ‘Poor Countries Should Have a Seat at G20 Table’, Inter Press Service, Thursday, May 13, 2010 (posted by Global Issues)

Majority objects to leaving out abortion in G8 plan: poll
Stephen Harper’s much-vaunted maternal health initiative that was meant to galvanize next month’s G8 summit is now causing some queasiness…

Europe to push for tougher G20 market regulation
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said several European leaders will press for a ban on certain arcane financial tools tied to the 2008 global economic meltdown

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Cannon to Speak on G8 and G20 at Montreal Council on Foreign Relations on May 20th

Opposition to Afghan War will greet G20 leaders

Merkel insists financial transaction tax must be universal

Canada says hopes G20 to oppose global bank tax

CCTVs installed downtown Toronto for G20

Canadian PM urges G20 leaders to fix deficits
- this is the heart of what Harper is all about at the upcoming G20 – cutting public spending as the road to ‘reform’.

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Greek danger, Designated Speech, anti-abortion rally

Greek danger, Designated Speech, anti-abortion rally

1. EU’s Barroso calls on G20 to agree bank levy

There is still some life in the push for a tax levy at the G20, despite Canada’s resistance. The EU’s commission chief is working to get it back on the agenda.

2. Greece: The European Union’s Dangerous Game – Mark Weisbrot

The EU’s plan for Greece guts Greek society, but sets up the same crisis to happen again.

The problem is one of irrational economic policy.

…The projections show that if their program “works,” the country’s debt will rise from 115 percent of GDP today to 149 percent in 2013. This means that in less than three years, and most likely sooner, Greece will be facing the same crisis that it faces today.

This process of “internal devaluation” – whereby unemployment is deliberately driven to high levels in order to drive down wages and prices while keeping the nominal exchange rate fixed – is not only unjust, it is unviable.

The pundits are quick to blame Greece and the other weaker European economies (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Spain) for their problems. Although they did – like most of the world – have excesses such as asset bubbles during the boom years, they didn’t cause the world recession that sent their deficits skyrocketing.

3. Queen’s Park north designated as new G20 protest spot

I can’t believe the police keep calling the the ‘designated speech’ area, which implies that everywhere else is out-of-bounds for speech. You would think they would want a better euphemism that is less obviously anti-democratic.

Either way, designated protest is neutralized protest – if it is not determined by the participants, it is co-opted by the state.

4. Huge anti-abortion rally hails Canada’s new foreign-aid stand.  And pro-choice people were told to shut up?  This is the absolute worst time to shut up over fears of funding cuts.

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April 26th: G20 Finance Communiqué; Halifax meeting; temp jail; police visits

April 26th: G20 Finance Communiqué; Halifax meeting; temp jail; police visits

1. Here is the text of the G20 Finance Ministers Communiqué
There is no mention of the bank tax, and they are quite high on how strong the recovery is and will be and the G20′s role in it. Some camps are questioning this, even the International Monetary Fund

2. G8 development ministers are meeting in Halifax, setting the table for the G8 in Huntsville. They will be discussing two key issues: child and maternal health. The idea is to keep on track the ‘Millennium Development Goals’ — which have a deadline of 2015 – which ‘involve reducing by two-thirds the number of children who die before they reach 5 years old and reducing the number of women who die while pregnant or in childbirth by 75 per cent.’ I am not sure how you do this following the globalization model, but, I digress.

3. Old movie studio to become temporary G20 jail. Now we know where they will be herding people.

4. Police Visiting Toronto G20 Activists: ‘Intimidation’ and ‘Harassment’ Claimed.

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