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G8 is dead, long live G14 – Europe – World – NEWS – The Times of India

July 12, 2009 1 comment

The intimation of G8’s impending demise came from the host of the summit, Italian President Silvio Berlusconi. “We saw that G8 is no longer a suitable format to show a global economic way of doing. Instead, a consolidated G14 representing 80% of the world economy could help create a real dialogue. We want to see if the G14 is the best solution for debates which will bring to us unique results.”

Berlusconi was merely echoing the creeping realisation among the G8 countries that the steady decline of the developed nations, coupled with the rapid rise of developing countries like India and China, had rendered the rich club irrelevant. (via G8 is dead, long live G14 – Europe – World – NEWS – The Times of India).

Western Clubs

On 5th November 2008, Raghuram Raman was appointed as by the GOI as advisor to the Indian PM – to advise the Indian PM about the forth coming G-20 meetings. As ex-IMF man, if he is the ‘expert’ that he is touted as, by this time Raghuram Rajan should know that the IMF and World Bank are international only in name. They are Western Clubs – meant for the benefit of the West.

Sinking .. or saving ...

Sinking .. or saving ...

All G20 members were ‘invited’ to join another Western Club – the FSF. The Financial Stability Forum, another club, with the same G7 members. Just why does India join these rubber stamp bodies – and lend sanctity to the exploitative agenda of the sponsors. Does the world need another body, with the same Central Bank members, addressing the same monetary issues problems, with the same agenda?

G7 and OECD countries have created a club for themselves, by giving each other unlimited line of credit – while the developing world gets credit based on fast-depreciating dollar/euro foreign exchange reserves. Maybe this needs an inversion. The OECD and G7 should be asked to pay their purchases. In a new global reserve currency. And the BRICS need to start working on that.

Many of the regulatory bodies are actually a US-Euro Clubs – to fool the world, with token actions and steps to demonstrate inclusion and fairness of the developing world.

My feeling …

The BRIC leaders know well enough that the West will not let go of the IMF and the UN. The charade of UN /IMF /World Bank Reform is possibly required – and they are going through it.

Could you be loved ...?

Could you be loved ...?

Between ASEAN and IBSA, India needs to take Third World groupings from talk-fests to action-teams. Western clubs like UN, IMF, World Bank, G-7, P-5, etc are all heavily weighted against ‘outsiders’ like developing nations.

Join the gang

Thanks for the offer, but no thanks. And I will tell you why!

Trying to clean these Augean sales is a waste. India should engage with the BRICS countries – and focus on creating another institution without the West to start with.

Safe, Steady and Sure

We can keep banging our head against these Western altars, for another 60 years. It won’t work. We need to move – not necessarily fast, but surely and steadily. The Developing World (and India) can continue to knock at the doors of these Western clubs – and yet why would the West dilute their power and influence? And allow the Rest to take advantage of structures that the West has created for its own benefit?

Just why?

What is on the table

Bankrupt welfare state

Bankrupt welfare state

2 out of the G-7 countries are bankrupt – US and Britain. Their industrial base was supported by raw materials and captive markets – acquired by genocide, and the loot of centuries.

France, Germany Canada and Australia (not in G7) and Italy are tethering on the brink – under the weight of their social security system, and most of their business in the public sector. A geriatric Japan is dependent almost entirely on these declining seven. Japan’s investment in India and China has been negligible.

What Do We Bring To The Table

India, China and South Africa on the other hand, bring growing economies, young populations, lower welfare state burdens, expanding industrial base – and above all, a record of non-aggressive history.

These dubious clubs depend on victims to approve and finance their own slaughter – and these memberships don’t appeal to India.

G7, you are welcome to join us at our terms. We dont want to be a part of your ‘blood soaked history.’

Alan Greenspan Says the Federal Reserve Didn’t Cause the Housing Bubble – WSJ.com

March 12, 2009 1 comment
Terrified Al ... might miss out on his Nobel for Economics

Terrified Al ... might miss out on his Nobel for Economics

As I noted on this page in December 2007, the presumptive cause of the world-wide decline in long-term rates was the tectonic shift in the early 1990s by much of the developing world from heavy emphasis on central planning to increasingly dynamic, export-led market competition. The result was a surge in growth in China and a large number of other emerging market economies that led to an excess of global intended savings relative to intended capital investment. That ex ante excess of savings propelled global long-term interest rates progressively lower between early 2000 and 2005. (via Alan Greenspan Says the Federal Reserve Didn’t Cause the Housing Bubble – WSJ.com).

Poor Al!

Poor Al!

I can see the Nobel prize slipping away …

Poor Al! He can see it slipping away from him. What cane he do? Blaming the Asians is good start point. He is not below using Ben Bernanke’s rubbish to save his sagging hide.

What does this mean

An Indian economist explained this rather well. Suman Bery, writing for a direction towards Toward a robust globalisation, explained,

In a famous speech exactly four years ago, Fed Chairman Bernanke represented the US as responding passively and benignly to the global “savings glut” which had developed following the East Asian crisis of 1997-98.

Even though most closely associated with Chairman Bernanke, this formulation is widely shared by respectable economists and commentators, such as Martin Wolf of the Financial Times, Professor Richard Portes of the London Business School and the Centre for Economic Policy Research, and Professor Max Corden of the University of Melbourne. The task of recycling these imbalances fell on the sophisticated financial systems of the advanced countries. In the event, for a variety of reasons, even they proved unequal to the burden placed upon them.

The trigger ...

The trigger ...

Thus Spake Ben Bernanke

Remarks by Governor Ben S. Bernanke, Before the National Economists Club, Washington, D.C. November 21, 2002 (ellipsis mine)

U.S. dollars have value only to the extent that they are strictly limited in supply. But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press … that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. … …the Fed could find other ways of injecting money into the system–for example, by making low-interest-rate loans to banks or cooperating with the fiscal authorities … If we do fall into deflation, however, we can take comfort that the logic of the printing press example must assert itself, and sufficient injections of money will ultimately always reverse a deflation.

A terse anouncement by the Federal Reserve Board said,

“On March 23, 2006, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System will cease publication of the M3 monetary aggregate. The Board will also cease publishing the following components: large-denomination time deposits, repurchase agreements (RPs), and Eurodollars. The Board will continue to publish institutional money market mutual funds as a memorandum item in this release.

Al ... going from from respect ... to infamy

Al ... going from from respect ... to infamy

On November 10, 2006 Ben Bernanke justified,

“As I have already suggested, the rapid pace of financial innovation in the United States has been an important reason for the instability of the relationships between monetary aggregates and other macroeconomic variables.”

Ben Bernanke has given ample (and more) indications about what he will do. In fact, more than indications, he was brazen enough to say, what exactly he would do! How can the world blame him now?

Does it matter ... what pricked the balloon ...

Does it matter ... what pricked the balloon ...

The Asian savings glut was the problem …

Ben Bernanke joins a long list of Western propagandists, who find specious’ ways to blame others for Western problems. His most recent propaganda gem was to blame Asia for a savings glut.’

a satisfying explanation of the recent upward climb of the U.S. current account deficit requires a global perspective that more fully takes into account events outside the United States. To be more specific, I will argue that over the past decade a combination of diverse forces has created a significant increase in the global supply of saving–a global saving glut–which helps to explain both the increase in the U.S. current account deficit and the relatively low level of long-term real interest rates in the world today.

After Ben Bernanke opened the flood gates of such logic with ‘helicopter drop of dollars’ and ‘printing press technology’, and now the savings glut’ – others such ‘economists’ have rushed in to do another tom-tom dance around this logic.

What’s the word for a red neck economist?

A so called economist, weighed in with two bits, Dani Rodrik: Who killed Wall Street?

…the true culprits lie halfway around the world. High-saving Asian households and dollar-hoarding foreign central banks produced a global savings “glut,” which pushed real interest rates into negative territory, in turn stoking the US housing bubble while sending financiers on ever-riskier ventures with borrowed money. Macroeconomic policymakers could have gotten their act together and acted in time to unwind those large and unsustainable current-account imbalances. Then there would not have been so much liquidity sloshing around waiting for an accident to happen.

Americans are saints because they are shopping ...

Americans are saints because they are shopping ...

The Real Culprits …

Dani Rodrik does not mentioned Ben Bernanke even once. Bernanke’s printing press and helicopter’s are not mentioned even once. The evasion of Federal Reserve on M3 figures are not mentioned even once.

China which has funded the US to the extenet of US$2 trillion is not even mentioned once. Japan which has funded the US to the extent of US$1 trillion is ignored.

Alan Greenspan is mentioned once.

But Asians countries whose reserves are getting wiped due to dollar depreciation – are instead mentioned as culprits.

Wow. This is a new level in brazen-ness. Keep it up Ben, Al – and not forget you, Dani boy.

Helicopter Ben just wont stop ...

Helicopter Ben just wont stop ...

Let us see .. what this means …

Lawrence Summers (correctly) described the current global financial system as a “balance of financial terror”. Lawrence Summers could not have been more clear than this. In a speech on March 23, 2004, at the Institute for International Economics, Lawrence Summers described the US strategy. Again on March 24, 2006, at the Reserve Bank of India lecture, he repeated his message.

In the last 5 years, more than US$10 trillion were printed and the world is awash with dollars. Where did this money go? How was this used?

Lendings by US commercial banks in the period 2000 to 2004 soared by altogether USD 1,500bn to USD 6,750bn. In the European Monetary Union lending to the private sector by monetary financial institutions (MFI) climbed from roughly EUR 6,200bn end-1999 to not quite EUR 8,700bn at the end of last year.” Allianz Report, Dresdner Bank.(Links mine)

The recipients of this largesse, mainly Western banks made (it was whispered) bad loans worth 300-400 billion dollars. Actual figures coming out now are about 20 times as much – much higher.

The loans story does not end there.

These loans were in turn sold and re-sold, then packaged and mortgaged, derived and contrived – finally ballooning into the sub-prime’ crisis. Are these welfare payouts by another name? Who will pay for this “lending”? US Consumers are not repaying their housing loans.

Some one has to!

And that is the root of the problem. The West is trying to make Asians pay!! And people like Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan et al are paid hacks to create a logic by which the West will try and make the poor pay.

Nothing less!

Toward a robust globalisation

March 11, 2009 3 comments
Manu and Chiddu are wasting time

Manu and Chiddu are wasting time

In a famous speech exactly four years ago, Fed Chairman Bernanke represented the US as responding passively and benignly to the global “savings glut” which had developed following the East Asian crisis of 1997-98.

Even though most closely associated with Chairman Bernanke, this formulation is widely shared by respectable economists and commentators, such as Martin Wolf of the Financial Times, Professor Richard Portes of the London Business School and the Centre for Economic Policy Research, and Professor Max Corden of the University of Melbourne. The task of recycling these imbalances fell on the sophisticated financial systems of the advanced countries. In the event, for a variety of reasons, even they proved unequal to the burden placed upon them.

Not surprisingly, quite a different view is taken by the major current account surplus countries, notably China, but including Germany, Japan and, for a while, the major oil-exporting countries. Here, the finger is pointed squarely at the monetary policies followed by the US Federal Reserve

The G-20 is not the perfect vehicle for India to show leadership, but it is a start. India should grasp the opportunity being given to it and run with it. (via Suman Bery: Toward a robust globalisation).

Dollar prop!

Dollar prop!

Promising start.

The post laid out the position of the world economic structures and developments in the last few years, rather well – and the way Bretton Woods unravelled. And then, in the last paragraph, Suman Bery suddenly, from nowhere comes out that India is being ‘given an opportunity’! And makes out as though India(ns) should be grateful – kow-tow and bless the benefactors. And, before they change their mind.

RUN with the bone that they have thrown at India!

Note the language …

Similar is the story with Manu and Chiddu. They use the language of recipients, of pleading and impotence. Chidambaram says that ‘they’ will now “give greater representation and voice to developing countries” Manmohan Singh mirrors the sentiment when he says,”consultations were merely for the sake of form”.

The Developing World FTA

Instead of breaking heads with the WTO, the Developing World should declare a 100 country FTA. As Rajat Nag, of the ADB points out,

“East Asia already trades 55% of its output within the region. India’s trade with China, Japan and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is increasing. That is the structural shift which will have to happen. Our forecasts are not based on any dramatic shift”

Put the Doha round in deep freeze, and turbo charge work on a FTA within the developing world. That can add another 2%-4% to economic growth – especially to the poorest countries.

The Third Global Reserve Currency

To this add the Third Global Reserve Currency option – and junk the Dollar and the Euro. With this, the World economy will have two strong drivers for economic growth – without dependence on the West. The world needs to move away from the Dollar-Euro duopoly to tri-polar currency regime.

This calls for leadership – intellectual and political. Does the developing world have it? Can India provide it?

Some more crumbs and bones – World Bank will lend a few billion to microbanks – NYTimes.com

February 16, 2009 3 comments

The World Bank and the German government said Thursday that they hoped to inject as much as $600 million into microcredit banks, fledgling institutions in developing countries that are being starved of financing as the credit markets have tightened.

The effort highlights how even small banks in poor countries are getting caught in the financial crisis — and it offers them a chance to get public money to replace rapidly diminishing private capital. (via Microbanks Are Getting a Cash Infusion – NYTimes.com).

Under the plan, the World Bank would initially provide $150 million alongside an additional $130 million from the German government. Mr. Zoellick said the bank was soliciting contributions from other countries and agencies, and hoped to mobilize up to $600 million. That would be enough to help 150 to 200 microfinance banks in 40 developing countries.

Crumbs coming your way …

The US is throwing a few bones, our way, to keep us quiet. While they continue the flooding the world with these depreciating pieces of paper. India is losing 10% of its foreign currency reserves every year due to dollar devaluation. What we are getting from the IMF/WB duo is just 1% of this as debt.

And we have a few preening bureaucrats who think this calls for some self-congratulations!

Europe wants to stay relevant

Europe which has a major say in the IMF and World Bank, after the USA, obviously wants to increase its role – and decrease US importance. To gets its way, it has gone on a major diplomatic offensive – to the extent of restoring diplomatic ties with Cuba.

To placate the Third World, the duopoly and Europe may show some token resistance – and finally give the Third World some minuscule voting rights. The Third World must not waste time on reforming the IMF and World Bank – but instead focus on setting up a system to manage the Third reserve currency.

As an interim measure, to deal with the current liquidity problem, the US Fed, the IMF and World Bank should be pressured to part with some liquidity.

Why flog the IMF and World Bank dead horses.

Interview after G-20 Washington Summit

P.Chidambaram – They will give greater representation and voice to developing countries … Now whether they will be ready through that I can’t say, they have set the ball rolling now and it would be difficult now to resist any governance reforms on the IMF.(via Moneycontrol >> News >> Economy >> G20 meet sees agreement on common accounting standards: FM)

Describing the G20 summit as “very successful”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh … said that … There was one important significance which is clear that the balance of power is shifting increasingly in favour of emerging economies,

“We were previously also invited for the past couple of years for the G8 meetings. But consultations were merely for the sake of form. For the first time there was a genuine dialogue between many of the developed countries and the emerging economies,” he said. (via PM terms G20 meet as ‘very successful’)

Note the language …

This is the language of recipients, of pleading and impotence. Chidambaram says that ‘they’ will now “give greater representation and voice to developing countries” Manmohan Singh mirrors the sentiment when he says,”consultations were merely for the sake of form”.

The Developing World FTA

Instead of breaking heads with the WTO, the Developing World should declare a 100 country FTA. As Rajat Nag, of the ADB points out,

“East Asia already trades 55% of its output within the region. India’s trade with China, Japan and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is increasing. That is the structural shift which will have to happen. Our forecasts are not based on any dramatic shift”

Put the Doha round in deep freeze, and turbo charge work on a FTA within the developing world. That can add another 2%-4% to economic growth – especially to the poorest countries.

The Third Global Reserve Currency

To this add the Third Global Reserve Currency option – and junk the Dollar and the Euro. With this, the World economy will have two strong drivers for economic growth – without dependence on the West. The world needs to move away from the Dollar-Euro duopoly to tri-polar currency regime.

This calls for leadership – intellectual and political. Does the developing world have it? Can India provide it?

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