G20 to act as global economy caretakers

Linked with G20 goes global. – Published on Global Post, by Cindy Skrzycki, September 25, 2009.

PITTSBURGH — The Group of 20 will take on a more pronounced role in the global economy as leaders work together to keep the steady but slow economic recovery on track and prevent a similiar meltdown from occurring again.

The group, which accounts for 90 percent of the world’s economic output, will leave emergency economic support in place until a recovery is secured and said it would establish tougher rules on bank capital by 2012, according to a draft communique obtained by Reuters.  

The agreements appear to give rising powers such as China more clout in exchange for their commitment to help rebalance the world economy. Leaders will also announce that the G20, which includes China, Brazil, India and other fast-growing developing countries, will become the permanent council for international economic cooperation, eclipsing the Group of Eight.

The summit is entering its final day, following numerous protests around the city on Thursday. The final version of the communique will be issued Friday evening …

… Medvedev said there was no dispute with the Georgian people and that there have been years of shared traditions and friendship between the countries. But he didn’t deviate from the Russian script when he said the “period of aggression” could only be blamed on Georgian president President Mikheil Saakashvili.

“I will not deal with President Saakashvili because he committed a crime against his own people,” he said. Things must have been a tad uncomfortable when both were in New York at United Nations-related sessions.

He had kinder words for Obama who recently made the controversial decision to scrap the missile defense shield in Europe, a position that is radically different from the previous Bush administration.

“I’m very comfortable in communications with the president of the United States. We are people of one generation with him,” said Medvedev. He and Obama shared the same legal profession and he even was reading articles that were written by Obama when the American president was editor of the Harvard Law Review. He suggested he would have paid more attention to them had he known the outcome of their careers.

He took a swipe at the Bush administration when he said Obama “doesn’t preach as a mentor.” He suggested Obama has made bold decisions that reverse positions taken in the Bush administration, though he insisted the change in plans on the missile defense system “is not pro-Russian. It is pro-American.”

Just as times have changed dramatically in Washington, the Russian leader said the direction of his country has changed since one of his predecessors, Nikita Khrushchev, was in Pittsburgh at the University 50 years ago — a time before he or many of the people in the University Commons Room were born.

“I wouldn’t say we are politically close and that I share many of his views,” he said.

His answer to one very direct question about what he considered to be the most important thing in life proved the point when he answered, “Love. What can be more important than love?”

Hard to imagine Nikita Khrushchev saying that. (full text).


A World of Trouble: the sequel, Published April 20, 2009, Updated June 15, 2009;

A World of Trouble: Is the nightmare over? Published September 10, 2009, Updated September 12, 2009.

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