02.03.2009  
     
 
Will Gordon Brown's "Global New Deal" Ever Get Off The Ground?
 
  Gordon Brown won the European race to the White House and will meet Barack Obama there on Tuesday. In a piece for the Sunday Times, he laid out his agenda for the talk with the President, calling for a global New Deal to be launched by the U.S. and Britain. The goal: To create an impact that "can stretch from the villages of Africa to reforming the financial institutions of London and New York – and giving security to the hard-working families in every country."   
 
Sounds like a tall order for the meeting between Obama and Brown. And while I am really tired of incessantly hearing the catch-all phrase "New Deal," I guess a globalized world - to use another catch-all phrase - requires some kind of binding, transnational agreement to remedy the current, and prevent future, crises.

I am just skeptical that much will come of it. Why? German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other EU leaders over the weekend rejected to bail out Eastern Europe. French President Nicholas Sarkozy recently offered state aid to French automakers, as long as they don't close French factories. And you probably know all about the various versions of the Buy American part of the U.S. stimulus package (a policy that interestingly is supported by the Communist Party of the USA). Notice a trend?
 
When push comes to shove, most national leaders simply focus on their clearly defined national constituency instead of an amorphous global one. With most countries struggling to save their troubled financial and automotive industries, it seems unlikely they will be willing and able to contribute to bailing out other parts of the globe, at least for now.
 
Finally, there's the question whether Gordon Brown is the right person to fix the global financial system through a new deal. Not just conservative critics are blaming the former long-time Chancellor of the Exchequer, at least partly, for the current crisis.
 
What do you think?
 
 
 
Michael Knigge 02.03.2009, 22:27 # 0 Comments
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