Thursday, April 2, 2009

G20 Magic

As I write this the S&P 500 is up another 4% to 844. The reason for this seems to be optimism on the outcome of the G20 meeting as well as some follow through on a rally in Asia driven by, of all things, the news that Toyota sales fell 39% rather than the forecast 41%. Personally I'm not sure I would buy stocks on news like that but perhaps we were due for a rally.

The G20 has issued a communique. They are basically coming together to recapitalize the IMF and prepare it to deal with propping up emerging or recently emerged economies in the event that they at put to the wall by the global financial crisis. Additionally the IMF will sell some of its gold in order to help finance this.

The gold sale is what I find interesting. Around the world governments are printing money which is essentially debasing the worlds paper money. This should see a rise in the value of gold. So what do the worlds chief printers of money do to panic the gold bugs who are selling paper for metal? They sell the gold reserves of a multilateral institution which, in addition to helping with the recapitaization of the IMF also pushes up the relative value of the paper currencies being printed.

Smart guys these.


The Buffalover said...

So does the commitments coming out of this global jam session say anything about your idea that the US will attempt to export the recession by lifting trade barriers? Or do you think the renewed commitments made to protect global trade are simply talk for now?

Ken said...

Good question. I think I'll have to answer that with a ful on post but the short answer is that there is no enforcement mechanism for this other than "naming and shaming" which the UK PM is fond of saying. Sadly if the choice is bringing unemployment below 10% or being "named and shamed" by the G20 I think the average elected legislature (or unelected for that matter) is likely to live with the shame, win reelection and then worry about getting back into the good graces of the G20.