G-20 promises and the morning after

Must comment on the outcome of the IMF meeting this last weekend.¬† You will recall that I was sceptical (in a Huffpost that argued that the Summit promised no ‘new world order’) about the sincerity of London G20 Summit promises of early April, spun artfully by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his team.

Holed up in the aircraft hangar that is the Excel Centre, G20 leaders promised:

” to treble resources available to the IMF to $750 billion, to support a new SDR allocation of $250 billion, to support at least $100 billion of additional lending by the MDBs, to ensure $250 billion of support for trade finance, and to use the additional resources from agreed IMF gold sales for concessional finance for the poorest countries, constitute an additional $1.1 trillion programme of support to restore credit, growth and jobs in the world economy.”

The official report of the IMF meeting this last weekend notes that the International Finance and Monetary Committee¬† “backed moves to triple IMF lendable resources to $750 billion, initially through bilateral loans from member countries and later through an expanded and more flexible New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB).”

In other words, the commitments were ‘backed’ in much the same way as the G20 offered ‘to support’ the trebling of resources in London, But the commitments were not met.

Dispiriting stuff for the staff of the IMF, who were elated by the G20 decision and whose Managing Director, Mr. Strauss Khan declared ‘ the IMF is back’ six times in a press briefing after the London Summit, according to the Wall St. Journal. (27 April, 2009).

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