July 6, 2008
I commend to you this week’s first leader in The Economist, the beginning of which is reproduced below. “Global institutions are an outdated muddle; the rise of Asia makes their reform a priority for the West”
CLUBS are all too often full of people prattling on about things they no longer know about. On July 7th the leaders of the group that allegedly runs the world—the G7 democracies plus Russia—gather in Japan to review the world economy. But what is the point of their discussing the oil price without
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest producer? Or waffling about the dollar without China, which holds so many American Treasury bills? Or slapping sanctions on Robert Mugabe, with no African present? Or talking about global warming, AIDS or inflation without anybody from the emerging world? Cigar smoke and ignorance are in the air. The G8 is not the only global club that looks old and impotent. The UN Security Council has told Iran to stop enriching uranium, without much effect. The nuclear non-proliferation regime is in tatters. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the fireman in previous financial crises, has been a bystander during the credit crunch. The World Trade Organisation’s Doha round is stuck.”I wonder whether flying all these leaders to Toyako and the protection of 20 000 police is worth it.