David Prosser: Remember when we were friends?
Friday 08 October 2010
Outlook There is not much to remember fondly about the panic in the financial system that swept the world during the final few months of 2008. But we should at least applaud the way in which governments and central bankers around the globe put aside their differences as they sought to deal with the crisis. Not only was the bail-out of the banking sector co-ordinated on a global scale, but it was followed by an equally united fiscal response, which prevented recession becoming depression.
This consensus could not last. Two years later, as the representatives of the world's major economic powers arrive in Washington for the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund, they still publicly talk the language ofco-operation. In private, however, they are busy calling those left at home, instructing them to pursue the national interest at all costs.
In an ideal world, this IMF meeting would serve as a peace summit for the protagonists in what Brazil's finance minister recently described as a "global currency war". However, there appears to be precious little goodwill on either side. Those nations which are determined to keep the value of their currencies depressed in order to protect their export industries – and it is far from only China that plays this game – are continuing to intervene in the foreign-exchange markets in one way or another. Those who worry they are being disadvantaged by such policies are upping the rhetoric. It is every man for himself.
The collateral damage in this war is the threat to the still-vulnerable global economic recovery. But although Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the IMF, voiced exactly that concern yesterday, the Fund seems unwilling, or unable, to play the role of peacemaker or peacekeeper. Mr Strauss-Kahn warned that "the mood" was not in place to strike a deal at this meeting.
What a pity. When the threat of meltdown was immediate, the IMF's members felt able to act in unison. Now that the threat has receded, they have abandoned the collegiate approach, even though this failure to address the huge imbalances in the global economy will, sooner or later, precipitate another crisis.
- 1 Students heading off to 'charity challenge' grounded at Gatwick after travel firm goes bust
- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- 5 Like Jennifer Aniston, I am no less of a woman because I am childless
Ashya King missing: Police hunt five-year-old boy with brain tumour snatched from Southampton hospital by his parents
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
Californian drought is so severe it's 'causing the ground to move'
Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...
£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...
£200 - £250 per day + competitive: Orgtel: KYC Analyst, Key Banking Client, Bi...
£400 - £500 per day: Orgtel: Test Manager - Banking - West Yorkshire - £400-£5...