Monday, October 20, 2008

Together Everyone Achieves More

The White House today announced that it will host an emergency 20 country summit on November 15, 2008 to discuss the world economic crisis. The announcement comes after much urging by China and the EU. Among those invited are Argentina, Brazil, the EU, India, Saudi Arabia, the head of the IMF, president of the World Bank, and the UN secretary general and chairman of the Financial Stability Forum. Significantly, the White House announced that the President-Elect would also be able to give his input. Hopefully, the role of the President-Elect in this summit will not overshadow the very real problem-solving that could take place in media coverage.

With the markets fluctuating day after day, plummeting now, but possibly bouncing back by the time someone reads this, the White House’s economic crisis summit will hopefully cause a bit of a bounce. Every fall of the NYSE brings fear to the rest of the country and world, but in New York, where most are fearing the loss of their shirt, each fall has a different type of psychological effect.

New York is not the only place where layoffs are becoming a regular phenomenon. China announced this week that the economic growth has slowed considerably, there had been waves of layoffs in the manufacturing sector, and the stock market and real estate market had suffered significantly.

With any luck, this economic crisis summit will reach the goals that President Hu Jintao presented to George Bush on Tuesday evening: (1) stabilization measures that take effect immediately, (2) restoration of investor confidence, and (3) prevention of further expansion of the crisis.

The only question is how to get there? What are George Bush’s real goals in hosting the summit? As a Lame Duck, he can only have one goal: to salvage his reputation. Is that motivation enough to find a solution to the crisis? I hope so.