Thursday, September 24, 2009

G-20 Question #1: Talkey-Talk or Doey-Do?

There are issues, believe it or not. Floated mostly: outside and surely within. The U.S. has its own agenda, but the regulation of private financial institutions AKA banks is getting the lion's share of global media attention -- along with a variety of other items.

This is in no small part because there is a movement within the G-20 to get serious and active. The public mood left over from the global economic recession encourages this feeling. The fact that the Summit is being held in Pittsburgh, a blue-collar town with a legendary work ethic embedded into its concrete, suggests that it may be time for the Group of 20 to pull up its socks and execute some of the things on our great global to-do list.

The payoff from this Summit will be a written Communique -- which at once can be dismissed as necessarily non-binding text, yet at the same time is eagerly anticipated by many due to its potential to informally bind member nations to real commitments by dint of loss of face for not carrying them out. Again, dependent upon the language.

Whether or not we understand very expertly the subject matter in a certain part of the Communique -- be it bank executives' compensation structures, IMF empowerment as a global oversight body, trade agreements or anything else -- we should all be able to tell via sheer sentence structure and common sense whether anything significant was determined, or cans were kicked down the road.

Hey, I'm from Pittsburgh. I'm biased. I want the world to have actually improved at this G-20 Summit. And so do a curious number of G-20 member nations.