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What the G-20 summit can do
Obama and other leaders meet, but can they agree on how to fix the global economy?
T

he G-20 summit in London won’t resolve the global economic crisis, said The Boston Globe in an editorial. But it should give the member nations a chance to narrow their differences on how best to tackle the problem. The U.S. and Britain want a coordinated fiscal stimulus among all G-20 economies, while Germany and “other inflation-phobic nations” oppose more stimulus. The U.S. is right on this one, so President Obama should push his stimulus case.

Regardless, the daylong summit is “unlikely to achieve much,” said Simon Johnson in Talking Points Memo, at least on the major issues. But there are “glimmers of hope” in Obama’s “surprising” push to pump a lot of cash into the IMF and begin “de-Europeanizing” and democratizing the EU-dominated fund. Those “clever” changes would let stimulus-hungry European nations “help themselves” by bypassing Germany’s austerity.

We’re siding with the Germans, said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. But even if government-led reflation were the right response, European nations wouldn't be the only ones that would draw cash from a beefed-up IMF. The new IMF dollars—many of them “conjured” up from U.S. taxpayers—would also go to “dictators” and unsavory nations, with no strings attached.

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