This is what the G-20 meeting
that started yesterday in Seoul, the capital of
the Republic of Korea, has been turned
Many readers, saturated with
acronyms, may wonder: What is the G-20? This is one of the many miscreations
concocted by the most powerful empire and its allies, who also created the G-7:
the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Canada.Later on they decided to admit Russia in a club that
was then called the G-8.
Afterwards they condescended
to admit 5 important emerging countries: China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa. Then the group
membership increased after the inclusion of the member countries of the OECD
–another acronym-, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: Australia, the Republic of Korea and Turkey. The group was
also joined by Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Indonesia, and they all
summed up 19.The twentieth member of
the G-20 was no other than the European Union.As from this year, 2010, one country, Spain, holds the
peculiar category of “permanent guest.”
international high level meeting is taking place almost simultaneously in Japan:the APEC meeting.
If patient readers bother to
add to the former group the following countries: Malaysia, Brunei, New Zealand,
the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Chinese province of
Taiwan, Papua-New Guinea, Chile, Peru and Vietnam -all of them with a
significant trade volume, with coasts washed by the Pacific Ocean waters- the
result would be what is called the APEC: the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
Forum, and with that the entire jigsaw puzzle is completed. They would only
need a map, but a laptop could perfectly provide that.
At such international events
crucial international economic and financial issues are discussed.The International Monetary Fund and the World
Bank, with decision-making powers when it comes to financial matters, have
their own master:the United States.
It is important to remember
that after the Second World War, the US industry and
agriculture remained intact; those in Western Europe were totally
destroyed, with the exceptions of Switzerland and Sweden.The USSR had been
materially devastated and scored huge material losses that surpassed the figure
of 25 million persons.Japan was defeated, in
ruins and occupied.Around 80 per cent
of the world’s gold reserves were sent to the United States.
In a remote, though spacious
and comfortable hotel at Bretton Woods, a small community of the US north eastern
state of New Hampshire, the Monetary and
Financial Conference of the recently created United Nations Organization was
held from July 1st to 22 of 1944.
The United States was granted the
exceptional privilege of turning its paper money into an international hard
currency pegged to a gold standard mechanism fixed at 35 US dollars per one Troy ounce of gold.
Since the overwhelming
majority of countries keep their foreign exchange reserves in the US banks -which is
the same as granting a significant loan to the richest country in the world-, the
gold pattern mechanism established at least a ceiling for the unrestricted
issuance of paper money.This was at
least some sort of guarantee on the value of the reserves that countries kept
in US banks.
Based on that enormous
privilege -and for as long as the issuance of paper money was limited by the
gold standard mechanism- that powerful country continued to increase its
control over the planet’s wealth.
The military adventures of
the United States in alliance with
the former colonial powers, particularly the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and the recently
created West Germany, led that country
into other military adventures and wars that plunged the monetary system
established at Bretton Woods into a crisis.
At the time of the genocidal war
in Vietnam, a country
against which the US was at the verge
of using nuclear weapons, the US President took
the shameless and unilateral decision of suspending the dollar’s gold pattern.Ever since then, there have been no limits to
the issuance of paper money. That privilege was so much overused that the value
of the Troy ounce of gold went from 35 dollars to figures way above 1 400
dollars, that is, no less than 40 times the value it kept for 27 years until
1971, when Richard Nixon took such nefarious decision.
The worst thing about the
present economic crisis that affects the American society today is that former
anti-crisis measures applied at different moments in the history of the US imperialist
capitalist system have not helped it now to resume its usual pace.The US is wracked by a
national debt close to 14 billion dollars -that is, as much as the US GDP- and the
fiscal deficit remains unchanged.The sky-rocketing
banks bailout loans and interest rates almost equal to zero have hardly
decreased unemployment to figures below 10 per cent. The number of households
whose houses are being closed out have barely decreased either. Its gigantic defense
budgets which are much higher than those of the rest of the world - and what is
worse, those devoted to the war- have continued to grow.
The US President, who
was elected hardly two years ago by one of the traditional parties, has been
dealt the biggest defeat ever remembered in the last three fourths of a
century.Such a reaction is a
combination of frustration and racism.
The US economist and
writer William K. Black wrote a memorable phrase: “The best way to rob a bank
is to own one”.The most reactionary
sectors in the United States are sharpening
their teeth and have appropriated an idea that would be the antithesis of the
one expressed by the Bolsheviks in October of 1917:“All power to the US extreme right.”
Seemingly, the US government, with
its traditional anti-crisis measures, resorted to another desperate decision:
the Federal Reserve announced it would buy 600 billion US dollars before the
On Wednesday November 10, one
of the most important US news agencies
reported that “President Obama had arrived in South Korea to attend
meetings of the world's top 20 economic powers.”
“Tensions over currencies and
trade gaps have simmered ahead of the summit following a decision by the U.S. to flood its
sluggish economy with $600 billion in cash that has alarmed leaders around the
“Obama has defended the move by the U.S.
On November 11,
the same agency reported to the world’s public opinion the following:
strong sense of pessimism shrouded the start of an economic summit of rich and
emerging economies Thursday […] with world leaders arriving in Seoul
sharply divided over currency and trade policies.
“Established in 1999 and
raised to summit level two years ago, the G-20 has—
encompassing rich nations such as Germany and the U.S. as well as emerging
giants such as China and Brazil — has become the centerpiece of international
efforts to revive the global economy and prevent future financial meltdowns...”
“Failure in Seoul could
have severe consequences. The risk is that countries would try to keep their
currencies artificially low to give their exporters a competitive edge in
global markets. That could lead to a destructive trade war.
“Countries might throw up
barriers to imports — a repeat of policies that worsened the Great Depression.
countries, such as the United States, whosetop priority would be “to get China to allow its currency rise” against
other currencies that would allow for a reduction of the huge trading surplus
of the Asian giant with Washington, since it will make Chinese exports to be
more expensive andUS imports cheaper.
“There are those
which irate over U.S. Federal Reserve plans to pump $600 billion of new money
into the sluggish American economy”.They see this measure as a selfish move to fill markets with dollars,
thus devaluing that currency and giving US exporters and unfair price edge.
“The G-20 countries […] are finding little common ground on the most
vexing problem: What to do about a global economy that depends on huge U.S. trade deficits
with China, Germany and Japan?”
“Brazil's president, Luiz
Inacio Lula da Silva, warned that the world would go "bankrupt" if
rich countries cut back on consumption and tried to export their way to
“‘If the rich
countries are not consuming and want to grow its economy on exports, the world
goes bankrupt because there would be no one to buy. Everybody would like to
The summit started amid a rather pessimistic ambiance for Obama and the
South Korean President Li Myung-bak, “whose negotiators failed to agree on a
long-stalled free trade agreement that it was hoped could be reached this week.”
“G-20 leaders gathered Thursday evening at Seoul's grand NationalMuseum of Korea for the dinner
that marked the official start of the two-day event.”
“Outside, a few thousand protesters rallied against the G-20 and the
South Korean government.”
Today, Friday 12, the summit concluded with a declaration that contained
20 items and 32 paragraphs.
Presumably, the world is not made up only by the 32 countries that
belong to the G-20 or only by those which belong to the APEC.The 187 nations that voted in favor of
lifting the blockade against Cuba, as opposed to
the two that voted against and the two that abstained, make a total of 192. For
160 of them there is no forum whatsoever where they could express a single word
about the imperial plundering of their resources or about their urgent economic
needs.In Seoul, the United
Nations does not even exist. Won’t that honorable institution say a single word
In these days European news agencies have been publishing really tragic
news about Haiti –where, in only
minutes, an earthquake killed around 250 000 persons in January this year.
According to reports, the Haitian authorities have warned about the
speed with which the cholera epidemic is spreading throughout the city of Gonaives, in the northern
part of the island.The Major of that coastal
village, Pierreleus Saint-Justin, asserts he has personally buried 31 corpses
on Tuesday, and expected to bury another 15.
“Others could be dying as we speak”, he added.The report states that as from November 5, 70 corpses have been buried
only in the urban area of Gonaives, but there are
more people who have died in rural areas nearby the city.
According to the report, the situation is becoming catastrophic in Gonaives.The floods caused by hurricane ‘Tomas’ could
make the situation to be even worse.”
Last Wednesday, the health authorities in Haiti fixed at 643 the
number of victims who had died until November 8 in the entire country as a result of the epidemic.
The number of persons infected with the cholera virus during the same period
amounts to 9 971.Radio stations report
that the figures to be released on Friday could include more than 700 deadly
The government asserts now that the disease is taking a serious toll on
the population of Port-au-Prince and is
threatening the capital outskirts, where more than one million people have been
living in tents since the earthquake on January 12.
News are reporting today a figure of 796 deaths and a total of 12 303
More than 3 million inhabitants are now threatened; many of them live in
tents and among the rubble left by the earthquake, without potable water.
The main US agency reported
yesterday that the first part of the US Fund for the Reconstruction of Haiti
was already on the way now, more than seven months after being committed to
help rebuilding the country devastated by the earthquake in January.
Reportedly, in the next few days, the agency will transfer approximately
120 million dollars –around one tenth of the amount promised- to the Fund for
the Reconstruction of Haiti, managed by the World Bank, as was stated by
P.J.Crowley, the State Department’s speaker.
An assistant of the State Department stated that the money allocated to
the Fund would be used to remove the rubble, build houses, grant credits,
support and educational reform program to be implemented by the Inter-American
Development Bank and support the Haitian government budget.
Not a single word has been said about the cholera epidemics, a disease
that for years affected many countries in South America and could spread
throughout the Caribbean and other parts of our