The likelihood that this meeting will kick-start a recovery from the global economic downturn is about as high as your winning the jackpot with the next lottery ticket you buy. At the prior G-20 meeting in November all parties solemnly proclaimed their devotion to free trade and opposition to protectionist measures in the midst of recession. Since then, 17 of the 20 countries, including the United States, have imposed recovery-killing protectionist measures.
The world would be better off if the two major initiatives being pushed at this meeting were similarly ignored. The U.S. and Great Britain will try to persuade other countries to commit to the kind of large-scale domestic "stimulus" spending they have instituted. Meanwhile the continental European countries will try to persuade the U.S. to regulate its financial institutions more tightly, emulating the strict European regulation that failed to stave off imprudent exotic investments and a financial crisis there.
France, Germany, Japan and other countries are rightfully leery of too much deficit spending, convinced that it won't end the recession and concerned about subsequent inflation. Stricter U.S. regulation will be designed to prevent the previous round of excesses while failing to anticipate problems that have not yet materialized, accomplishing little at great cost.
All in all, then, the best news out of London would not be announcements of great decisions agreed upon, but flowery statements about "friendly discussions" and "frank exchanges," which when decoded translate to "we did nothing much."
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here