1 April 2009

G20-20: No Vision

Yes, I know it's tempting to smash things up. I can't remember the last time I felt so frustrated as when I watched that glass window go at the RBS building and realised I could have been there if I hadn't been in an Economics and Accounting management meeting. Even the thought of being hemmed in by thousands of coppers without access to a toilet failed to persuade me I'd made the right decision to go to work today.

It is not difficult to say where the G20 should be going - the media are choosing to hear from the same old men with blue eyes and pale faces who caused the problem. The sense appears to be coming from people dressed up as apocalyptic horsemen and clowns. I am sorry to say that the Green Party has taken to wearing suits (and having a leader) in the mistaken belief that this will ensure we are given more serious attention by the media and political classes. If only it were so simple I might wear a suit myself.

But lest you despair, I will share with you the radical, visionary and just policy that was passed a fortnight ago at our still fully democratic party conference in Blackpool:

International finance

EC960 The present international financial system provides disproportionate benefits to banks, trans-national corporations and currency speculators. It must be replaced by a system in which money returns to its proper role as a medium of exchange, not a commodity in its own right. This requires international negotiation. The result could be a reformed World Bank and International Monetary Fund at the centre of a global economic system with commercial institutions playing a much diminished role.

EC961 The tripartite global system regulating international finance should be replaced by three new bodies: an International Reserve Bank to administer the neutral international exchange currency (EBCU); an International Clearing Union to oversee goods and carbon trading; a General Agreement on Sustainable Trade.

EC962 All countries belonging to the tripartite system should make their currencies convertible but according to internationally negotiated and fixed exchange rates. Domestically countries would be expected to administer exchange controls.

EC963 The global trading system would aim to achieve balance trade between countries; those which operated extended surpluses or deficits would be fined.

EC964 The US dollar should no longer be accepted as equivalent to gold in international transactions and other national or supra‐national (i.e. the euro) currencies should no longer be used as international reserve currencies.

EC965 Their role should be taken on by a neutral international currency ‐ the EBCU ‐ linked to the right to produce carbon dioxide.


  1. What the G20 should agree upon this week is to allow every economy to shape its policies for tackling the crisis in a way that best addresses its specific economic problems. Many economies may indeed choose to co-operate and trade for mutual benefit. Nevertheless, the free trade pill must not be forced down every economy’s throat. Political leaders should become more responsible to the needs and demands of their people instead of hiding behind the ‘forces of globalization’. Global solutions for a global financial crisis may sound good in theory but may not work in the reality of disparate economies with different problems and varying economic potentials. In fact, one needs to entertain the possibility that centralization tendencies in the global financial system may be at the very root of the global financial malaise.

  2. ...but not while gardening?

    One has to maintain standards fit for the occasion.

    Molly, when you are Governor of the Bank of England you will need something like