Friday, April 3, 2009

G-20 Summit

Generally, these summits aren't particularly fruitful. But this being Obama's first performance on the international stage, the event is under a microscope.

There were two looming issues going in: global regulation -- espoused by France and Germany -- and global stimulus -- espoused by America and Britain. A global regulatory system will not come out of this Summit, but we agreed to promulgate stricter intra-county regulations over hedge funds and rating agencies. Similarly, a global stimulus will not be implemented, but we agreed to fund international financing institutions with $1.1 trillion. Source. If Obama's initial goals constitute the benchmark, the Summit results are a wash.

That is, with one major exception. Apparantly, Obama soothed a tiff between France's Sarkozy and China's Hu Jintao. The Times reports that Sarkozy and Hu Jintao were engaged in a heated exchange over tax havens, when Obama intervened, spoke with each individually, and negotiated an agreement. Such diplomacy is probably Obama's strong suit, and it is nice that he can capitalize on his strenghs. With such actions, America can re-gain some of the respect we lost during Bush's tenure.

Overall, I say: Well done, Mr. President.

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