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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The G20: The Conspiratorial Edition

The G20 starts this week and two issues will dominate the economic and domestic policy plate. The first, the potential for a world wide stimulus, appears to have a chance of slim to none and slim is leaving the room. The second, a coordinated worldwide regulatory framework (especially in the financial sector), appears to have a serious chance of moving forward. Already, Fox News is reporting that French President Nicholas Sarkozy is demanding a hearing of his plan and is threatening to walk out of the meeting if it isn't given a fair hearing.

Now, the plan for global regulation will make all those conspiratorial nuts see their worst nightmares. I never wrote much about conspiracies about One World Government. Certainly, much of this is a lot of conspiracies, however the posssibilities of this conspiracy are in fact the nightmare of everyone that has been sounding the alarm of One World Government.

Imagine our financial system answerable not to our Treasury, Fed, and Congress, but to the International Monetary Fund. Imagine for a moment our banks and financial services companies being regulated not by our own internal regulators but regulators from the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund. This is the sort of vision that is perpetuated by those in favor of uniform worldwide regulations.

Of course from their point of view, a world wide, and coordinated, set of regulations make all the sense in the world. Without a world wide standard for regulations, companies will simply seek havens where things aren't regulated. It's pointless for the United States to impose heavy regulations if other nations don't have the same regulations. We would simply lose many companies seeking haven overseas. As such, a set of world wide regulations would be born.

Conspiracy theory or not, we have an administration that is at least open to such a world vision. Our Treasury Secretary has already entertained the idea of a world currency. President Obama once announced himself a citizen of the world. He is in favor of the Kyoto Treaty which would to environmental policy what this vision would do to financial regulation. In fact, President Obama seeks something very similar on world wide regulations of climate control.

This of us in favor of such "archaic" concepts as sovereignty would be deeply troubled by any movement that creates a world regulator that tells Americans and our companies how they should behave. It's something that I don't believe will happen, but it is to watch for in this G20 meeting.

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