G 20: the real start is in April – RIMANDATI AD APRILE

Photo: January 30, 2007. REUTERS/Jason Reed

The Times cartoon. © Peter Brooks





LI PENSAVAMO BOCCIATI; INVECE SON SOLO RIMANDATI AD APRILE: e’ un risulato magro ma sopra le aspettative.

Il G20 era atteso come  un buco nell’acqua, invece ha sorpeso, pur senza entusiasmare affatto:

– da un lato, ultimo grido liberista del 2° Millennio, seppellito nel marzo-settembre 2008

– dall’altro, un primo vagito del nuovo millennio Chindiano che avanza: focus sulla regolazione forte (?) della Finanza, anche se .. leggete il testo finale integrale: final statement. Le rating agencies? Devono … registrarsi, e’ tutto. Ma erano ben note e nelle dita di una mano!  Niente guillotine per  il loro top management, non una notte in prigione e nemmeno a casa senza liquidazione. Il FT le aveva trovate con le dita nella marmellata: usavano modelli TRUCCATI per valutare il rischio, lo sapevano e coprivano per mesi e mesi, continuando a barare.  Al confronto, il Watergate era una cosa da educande.

– Occhio Obama: col gradualismo alla Gordon Brown non si va da nessuna parte, si lasciano tutti gli attori e le istituzioni-chiave al loro posto. CI VUOLE UNA RIVOLUZIONE (al momento senza nome, così sarà più creativa ed al passo coi problemi).



Surprise surprise: Gordon Brown again, the win-win guy of global summits! 

For  a sorting out lame-duck (GWB, US), another one (GB, GB) stays with us forever. Gordon Brown had reached below zero poll evaluations, for his treacherous delaying tactics on Northern Rock: oh, dear! He was so shy and  timid (Blair complex?),  before statalism became fashionable again (the real Millennium cut is in 2008, either March or September). But now he’s the star, at least before B.Ob. enters the stage.



Brown Wins Reform Demands

U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown appeared to win many of his key demands to reform the global regulatory system and restart the Doha round of trade talks at the meeting of G-20 

As expected by everybody, lame duck GWB did not get anything from  Sat. 15th G20 meeting. Markets didn’t bet a buck on such a meeting, so perhaps they will not fall down dramatically on Monday. The G20:

+ has already become a focal institution (as Gordon Brown has underlined), and will have some work to do next year, particularly in the next meeting before April 30. First of all, verify whether the March deadline (see G20 document below) has been met for the emergency Global Finance re-regulation. By now the G20:

did not start any coordination of fiscal stimuli (from now on  the focus of policies), nor of  monetary and credit policy guidelines; in such a way, national and (at most) regional policies are already ending up: either  in “beggar your neighbour”; or becoming a ground for knittimg new international alliances: e.g., see the rge discussion on China’s fiscal plan:

the timing of the Chinese package is likely influenced both by domestic demands, and the external outlook. The timing before the G20 heads of state is clearly significant.


The hypothesis sounds right to me. China is trying to knit alliances around the US, to decouple.

+ dealt mainly with the financial meltdown, with a gradual approach (not mentioning the roots of today’s problems);

+ further work might follow, namely in the FSF coordinated by Mr Draghi, which should include BRIC and deal with change in  Bretton Wood institutions;

  –  no real finance reform, nonetheless: look at RATING AGENCIES (perhaps the most bastard subcriminals, the FT found them conspiring and treaching). They just need to … register !!!  Fuckoff.

 Pleaded for pursuing an “Open Global Economy”, AS IF it was not a dead walking: sooner or later bailout protectionism will give the floor to trade protectionism and capital controls; we bet the deadline of resurrecting the Doha Round by December  will NOT work;

apparently ignored the risks of an open deflation, signalled by the lack of response of gold and stock markets to the massive national rescue plans.  

∑ – Final G20 mark: – 5 + 3 = -2.  Only such a nerd as G Brown gets good marks! The other pupils most come back in the April session, with new essays 2B evaluated.

Even if its financial and institutional (IMF and WB) plan had to be timely applied, this would not change much of the current severe global recession by insufficient demand, on the verge of degenerating into a low consumption-led depression in the US – on behalf of the irresponsibility and laissez faire of Pres. Bush and his staff, even after the subcrime bubble imploded in August 2007, i.e. 15 months ago: 15 months lost, waiting for Godot. Luckily Godot is about to come from Chicago. This is why Russia asked to recall the G20 soon, and got it.

The real test will be whether their minimalist approach to focus upon an immediate stabilisation of financial markets will get any result soon. Dedline: March 31. This is the core of their long final statement:

9. We commit to implementing policies consistent with the following common principles for reform.

• Strengthening Transparency and Accountability: We will strengthen financial market transparency, including by enhancing required disclosure on complex financial products and ensuring complete and accurate disclosure by firms of their financial conditions. Incentives should be aligned to avoid excessive risk-taking.

• Enhancing Sound Regulation: We pledge to strengthen our regulatory regimes, prudential oversight, and risk management, and ensure that all financial markets, products and participants are regulated or subject to oversight, as appropriate to their circumstances. We will exercise strong oversight over credit rating agencies, consistent with the agreed and strengthened international code of conduct. We will also make regulatory regimes more effective over the economic cycle, while ensuring that regulation is efficient, does not stifle innovation, and encourages expanded trade in financial products and services. We commit to transparent assessments of our national regulatory systems.

 Promoting Integrity in Financial Markets: We commit to protect the integrity of the world’s financial markets by bolstering investor and consumer protection, avoiding conflicts of interest, preventing illegal market manipulation, fraudulent activities and abuse, and protecting against illicit finance risks arising from non-cooperative jurisdictions. We will also promote information sharing, including with respect to jurisdictions that have yet to commit to international standards with respect to bank secrecy and transparency.

 Reinforcing International Cooperation: We call upon our national and regional regulators to formulate their regulations and other measures in a consistent manner. Regulators should enhance their coordination and cooperation across all segments of financial markets, including with respect to cross-border capital flows. Regulators and other relevant authorities as a matter of priority should strengthen cooperation on crisis prevention, management, and resolution.

• Reforming International Financial Institutions: We are committed to advancing the reform of the Bretton Woods Institutions so that they can more adequately reflect changing economic weights in the world economy in order to increase their legitimacy and effectiveness. In this respect, emerging and developing economies, including the poorest countries, should have greater voice and representation. The Financial Stability Forum (FSF – directed by Mr Draghi, NdR) must expand urgently to a broader membership of emerging economies, and other major standard setting bodies should promptly review their membership. The IMF, in collaboration with the expanded FSF and other bodies, should work to better identify vulnerabilities, anticipate potential stresses, and act swiftly to play a key role in crisis response. 

Today’s rge is full of interesting clusters on G20 related issues:

  •  G20 Nations Agree More Concerted Efforts, Regulatory Coordination
  •  Will Coordinated Policy Interventions Prevent a Global Recession?
  •  Towards A New Financial Order: Regulatory Issues Tackled At The G-20
  •  Liquidity Trap Possibility: What’s the Solution?
     G20 Nations Debate Coordinated Fiscal Stimulus
     Economists Debate: What Should Be Accomplished at the G20?

Googhoo or Micrhoo? Search ads monopoly or duopoly?

A LUCKY DAY: 3 concurrent BNs !!!

BREAKING NEWS 1: download S&Tn 2

Today’s 2stnews080521 no.2 Science & Tehnology newsletter, focusing on Yahoo and IPRs.




2. MSFT WANTS TO BUY FACEBOOK AND MERGE IT WITH YAHOO (SEARCH ONLY)? Read, comment scobleizer.com on WordPress.

OBJECTIONS and ALTERNATIVES from a  number of blog posts in TechCrunch (we read hundreds of pages, and found them by far best value, together with breakingviews sempre primo della classe). Our synthesis:

FAQ 1. If the strategy is Facebook, to make it a sort of “gated community” (Robert Scoble’s alarming hypothesis), then what for Yahoo? Only Panama costs $20 bn (Citigroup estimate) 

FAQ 2. If MSFT now focuses Life Search Cashback, what for:

a) Facebook? Certainly not for above $10 bn;

b) Panama? You just buy Yahoo Asia and  the ad search business, without the software, because you desperately need CRITICAL MASS.



After years of passive innovation, is Microsoft about to  break in search technology and its business model?

“The big news this week may actually be Microsoft’s upcoming announcement at Advance08. (…) I’ll be at the event and live blogging, so stay tuned.” Michael Arrington at Techcrunch.com

I know it wasn’t nice, but I asked Google Search about  “Life Search Cashback“, it gave me all the list (people blogging from the Advance08 Conference today) but also asked me whether I actually meant “Life Search cash back” (I wanted to tell him, but not yet interactive: “sorry Engine, I understand you know the dictionary and you’ll learn more: but I was right”).

MORE  IN OUR ST Newsletter no.2: 2stnews080521 

WHO’S AFRAID OF (an independent) YAHOOLF?

NOBODY. It just happened: it was taken in between Microsoft and Google, in their global wars 1.0  – january 31 to may 15 2008 – and 1.1 (now). Google won the first run, but now it’s different.

April ‘o8 search shares:  62% GOOG, 17.5% YHOO, 9.7% MSN (MSFT), 4.3% AOL, 2.1% Ask.com (Nielsen data).

Users april ’08: 128 million G., 122m M., 117m Y., 105.5m Time Warner (AOL). Nielsen data.

US Searches same month – source Hitwise: 67.90% G, 20.28% Y, 6.26& M, 4.17% ask.com. MSN loosing ground from March to April, according to Hitwise.

1Q08 (4Q07) spending by US search advertisers: 70.4% (74.5%) G., 24.2% (19.6%) Y., 5.4% (5.9%) M. (NYT from SearchIgnite). Yahoo eroding Google’s share, according to this source.

Ground 0 by Shadow Finance Rentiers: terrorists @work to dismantle civil society, solidarity networks & democracy



Regulation Size Racket

By Jesse Stanchak Posted Sunday, March 23, 2008, at 6:47 AM ET The New York Times leads with Congress and the White House debating whether or not to tighten regulation of the financial services market. The Washington Post leads with Bhutan preparing to conduct its first elections on Monday, despite resistance from some citizens who are wary of the tumult of electoral politics. The Los Angeles Times leads locally, with its top national story saying that Sen. John McCain is staking his White House bid on the war in Iraq. The NYT compares the debate surrounding the current financial crisis to the reaction following the Sept. 11 attacks. Just as the attacks highlighted problems with coordinating intelligence and law enforcement agencies, the paper says the current crisis points out the lack of coordination between financial regulators. The paper finds the White House and Congress sparring over how best to correct a flawed system of financial regulations that Wall Street has learned to exploit. The Bush administration favors streamlining regulations and possibly creating an umbrella agency to handle duties currently split between different regulatory bodies. Congressional Democrats, however, want to tighten the rules by applying banking regulations to investment firms. Both sides claim their solution will benefit the free market the most. The White House says that investment capital would wither if the industry were overly regulated. Democrats, however, say that unless the industry becomes better regulated, investor confidence will shrivel and take the market with it. (bold added)  More on the US political debate over shadow financial system regulation, in the quoted NYT paper: 

In Washington, a Split Over Regulation of Wall Street 

In Congress, Democrats are drafting bills that would create a powerful new regulator — or simply confer new powers on the Federal Reserve — to oversee practices across the entire array of commercial banks, Wall Street firms, hedge funds and nonbank financial companies. (…) At least four federal agencies — the Federal Reserve, the F.D.I.C., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision — have some jurisdiction over mortgage lending. (…)

Ms. Bair of the F.D.I.C. cautioned that industry and government turf battles would make it difficult to agree on a single regulator, especially a strong one. But she said the need for one was clear.


“We need to go in the direction of more regulatory consolidation,” Ms. Bair said. “It would make more sense to have some type of umbrella agency, if for no other reason than facilitating information.”