George Graham

Finance Czars Hold Our Future in Their Hands

You probably haven’t heard much about it, but our future will be shaped for better or worse at a meeting on November 3 and 4 in Cannes.  At this meeting, the top 20 powers will discuss the world’s financial problems and decide what to do about them.

They will have lots of suggestions. One suggestion comes from Adbusters, a Canadian magazine (and activist group) which was involved in promoting the Occupy Wall Street Movement. This group is calling for demonstrations to demand a 1 percent “Robin Hood” tax on all financial transactions and currency trades worldwide with the proceeds going to social and environmental causes.

Another comes from the Vatican, which is proposing creation of a global political authority as part of radical overhaul of the world’s financial system.

And, as usual, struggling Third World countries are clamoring for debt forgiveness.

The organization that’s meeting in Paris (known as G20) was created to further cooperation by the most powerful countries in the world in management of the international financial system.

According to Wikipedia:

It studies, reviews, and promotes discussion (among key industrial and emerging market countries) of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability, and seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organization.

In effect, the G20n decides at its annual meetings how the world of finance will turn for the next year.

This year’s agenda is daunting. The world’s finance system is in chaos.

In America, the Occupy Wall Street movement is spreading,  with inevitable incidents of jackboot fascism by repressive authorities. Congress is in gridlock as President Obama pleads in vain for Republicans’ cooperation in addressing the nation’s crippling unemployment crisis.

Things are even worse in Europe. Spain’s bonds just got downgraded, Greece is in flames, the European union is threatened…

And the future is menacingly cloudy in Africa and the Middle East…

Everywhere, violence and discontent are rife.

“International financial stability” teeters on the edge of an abyss.

Reflecting the turbulent state of the world, a rash of demonstrations are likely to erupt at the G20 summit. The Guardian reports that:

Several anti-summit organizations have called on protesters to mobilize in Nice two days before the opening of the 48-hour summit, which will discuss the eurozone crisis, among other issues.

The French movement People First Not Finance and a second group Faced with G20 said a “people’s forum” is being organized as an alternative summit in Nice, 20 miles from Cannes. It will begin on 1 November, two days before the official summit.

The groups said they are planning a “major protest, a counter-summit and an action at the Monaco border” to demonstrate against tax havens, as well as concerts, public rallies, and stunts”. They are expecting around 15,000 protesters.

Demonstrators have planned a march, a “fiesta” and concerts, but protest leaders had reportedly reached an impasse with police over where events can be staged.

Click here for The Guardian’s article.

With all of this on the horizon, CNN is analyzing yet another flat-tax proposal -Rick Perry’s warmed over version of the plan voters rejected when Steve Forbes ran for president. And Yahoo News is buzzing over some celebrity’s quarrel with the judges on Dancing With the Stars and the arrest of Lindsay Lohan’s dad on domestic abuse charges in Tampa.

And we scoff at Nero for fiddling while Rome burned!


About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for