Saturday, April 04, 2009

Now that the party's over .....

.... comes the clearing up.

Alistair Darling, who has a Budget to announce in 18 days, admitted that it would take time for measures agreed by the London summit to be felt by ordinary voters and that there was no overnight fix to the recession.

What he didn't tell you is that most of the money announced at the G20 has already been spent and that there were actually no new ideas produced by the meeting. The whole event was just a stunt to present an apparent united front from the main economies of the world to the gullible media - it agreed nothing of note and will solve nothing.

If our political journalists really believe you can get a bunch of leaders from all over the world together for a few hours and get an agreement out of them on something as huge as this then they are truly naive - or stupid. Normally it would take them days of arguing just to agree where they are going to sit! These sort of things do not get results in a few hours.

Yes, I know there were lots of discussion behind the scenes by diplomats and economists in the weeks leading up to the summit, but that still wouldn't have been able to produce a result in four hours. When was the last time the EU got together over something as substantial as this and reached an agreement in a few hours?

Don't be fooled by the blip in share prices - that's just gambling and, as I've said before, share prices are actually largely irrelevant as an indicator of the health of an economy - or by the apparent increase in house prices - that's just property speculators taking a punt that this summit would release credit and get the market moving again. It will be short lived - property prices have a long way to fall yet and that fall will really get going once the job cuts really start to bite.

As The Times says, Darling has a budget to announce in less than three weeks - that will give us a better indication of where we are than anything coming from this summit. With this budget being the last chance for this government to give something to the electorate before the next election (the election might be next May, but the April budget before that one will be too late to get the "feelgood" factor through to the electorate) it will be interesting to see what Darling comes up with.

I'm not expecting much.

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