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Posts Tagged ‘Gordon Brown’

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown outlined the reforms that the largest world economies agreed to in the G20 summit. The call is for greater global economic cooperation to self-regulate and to prevent banking excesses from happening again.

Has history finally changed us for the better?

Some of the reforms mentioned by Gordon Brown:

  • New reforms of the global banking system, including institutions such as hedge funds, and other parts of the so-called “shadow banking system” coming under global regulatory control for the first time
  • Tighter regulation for credit rating agencies, to prevent conflicts of interest
  • A list of tax havens to be published immediately, and sanctions to be deployed against countries that do not comply with anti-secrecy regulations
  • Completion of the creation of international colleges of supervisors for national regulators
  • An agreement to do whatever is necessary to promote growth in individual countries, allowing for the possibility of the further use of fiscal stimuli in the future
  • The injection of an additional $1tn into the global economy through measures including a $500bn increase in the funding available to the IMF, an increase in the availability of money for developing countries through the IMF’s “special drawing rights” to $250bn and a total of $250bn being set aside for trade assistance
  • Reform of institutions such as the IMF to allow countries like China to have greater influence. Senior posts at the IMF and the World Bank will open to candidates from the developing world.
  • Renewed commitment to the millennium development goals.
  • $50bn for the world’s poorest countries.
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Conspiracy literature is rife with the phrase  “New World Order.” The early root of this interesting slogan is a speech given by George H. W. Bush:

Since that time, conspiracy theory has burgeoned with speculations of a secretive international insider elite plotting to control the world and instigating global crises to further their aims. The formula: crisis = opportunity to establish controls.

The permutations and ramifications of the New World Order are too intricate to summarize here, but recently a statement by British P.M. Gordon Brown about the current financial crisis rings parallel to Bush’s mantra in the video:

“We face a choice. We could allow this crisis to start a retreat from globalisation,” Brown said in his speech.

“As some want, we could close our markets – for capital, financial services, trade and for labour – and reduce the risks of globalisation, but that would reduce global growth, deny us the benefits of global trade, and confine millions to global poverty.

“Or we could view the threats and challenges we face today as the difficult birth pangs of a new global order, and our task now as nothing less than making the transition through a new internationalism to the benefits of an expanding global economy, not muddling through as pessimists but making the necessary adjustment to a better future and setting new rules for this new global order.”

Understandably this kind of phraseology has alarm bells ringing on every conspiracy theorist’s desktop. This goes back to that question earlier posed: are these events due to collective incompetence, or collective genius conspiring?

For me, the only thing consistent about all these speeches is society’s ignorance of its own limitations and vulnerability until crisis strikes. Whether these crises were triggered intentionally or resulting from ignorance or both doesn’t change this observation.

Putting the weakness against a time-dimension:

The past we don’t understand fully, the future we can’t predict accurately, but more glaringly: the present we aren’t critical enough of. Of the three timeframes–it is ONLY the present that we can control. This is why critical thinking is very important. It’s our only weapon against cruel surprises… NOW.

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