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Empty promises.

This refers to the G20 credibility test (GDN, September 27).

Promises, promises, here we go again, jetting into Pittsburg from all parts of the world.

So G20 agreements on climate change, nuclear disarmament, banking controls when really it's all about making headlines in each of their own national headlines along with a quick photo opportunity for Gordon Brown and the rest of the hangers - rudely interrupting President Barack Obama for a few seconds whilst he is in deep conversation with someone else.

Oh yes, the world's leading politicians are going to sort out all those recalcitrant bankers but not a mention of the US government creations namely Freddie Mac and Fannie May.

Freddie Mac was an old Roosevelt creation whilst the government of the day in 1968 set up Fannie Mae to increase competition against Freddie Mac; therefore you have two different government bodies competing against each other to see who could lend the most debt.

In 1977, the Jimmy Carter administration set up the Communities Reinvestment Act solely designed to increase bank lending to those regarded as inordinately high-risk cases.

Fast forward to the 21st century, and lo and behold Freddie and Fannie were parcelling up all their high-risk mortgages with apparent attractive highest interest tags (because of their high risk of default) and selling them off to other willing bankers around the world.

It was the financial institutions' version of that old parlour game 'pass the parcel' and no guesses who was left holding all these unopened well-travelled parcels.

Having created these monsters in the first place, the world's politicians are now sorting it all out. Yeah, really.

Oh yes, inhibiting nuclear proliferation; even better with each leading world power actually agreeing to dispose of their entire nuclear arsenals.

Can you believe it, especially by Russia and America? I wonder how many of today's G20 members will live to see that day.

Brown, the UK Prime Minister, has now promised to reduce the country's four Trident-bearing submarines down to three, and they call that a promise on total disarmament.

Just one snag, how will Russia and America make Israel hand over 300 nuclear weapons when they won't give up any of their many settlements built illegally in other countries?

That should be worth many more G20 junkets around the world all of which will go a long way towards setting an example to us all on [ETH].how best to combat climate change!

Pitt the Elder

Copyright 2009 Gulf Daily News

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Oct 5, 2009
Words:421
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