Sunday, February 08, 2004

TREASURY SECRETARY JOHN SNOW REPORTS FROM THE G7



"Turning to the poorest countries, I emphasized today that creating an environment that allows private businesses to flourish should be a higher priority on the development agenda. We all agreed that the World Bank and regional banks should work to improve investment climates and direct more resources to the private sector."

...as opposed to directing resources at fighting poverty and AIDS, and at making critical investments in education and public infrastructure for water and sanitation.

"Our commitment to combating terrorist financing continues."

...including slaps on the wrist for Bank of America, Bank One, Barclay's Bank, Bank of New York, Deutsche Bank, and JP Morgan Chase for laundering money to the Sudan, Iran, Libya and North Korea. The stiffest fine: $34,623.25--a drop in the bucket for any of these multinational financial empires. Many of these fines were assessed after "voluntary disclosure," meaning that the companies knew it was wrong to launder money, knew that they may be aiding and abetting terrorists, but did so anyway because they knew they would make a healthy profit even with the fines. No criminal charges pending. Bang up job, John.

On the issue of China's ongoing manipulation of its currency for competitive advantage, Secretary Snow managed to marshall the G7 ministers into its strongest language yet condmening China's harmful beggar-thy-neighbor economic policies:

"We emphasize that more flexibility in exchange rates is desirable for major countries or economic areas that lack such flexibility to promote smooth and widespread adjustments in the international financial system, based on market mechanisms."

WOW! If I was China, I'd be quaking in my sandals. I can't believe they would just lay out this ultimatum in such bold, striaght forward terms. I guess the Bush administration really means business now when it comes to China's mercantilist ploy to siphon American jobs and productive capacity.

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