The leaders of Britain and Brazil have put the emphasis on fixing global trade to fix the global economy. Gordon Brown was in Brazil on a world tour to drum up consensus for next week’s much-heralded crisis summit in London of the world’s 20 leading and developing nations.
Both he and the Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva want the G20 to bring about fundamental change in organisations like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Lula da Silva had the world’s top economies in his sights when he said: “This is a crisis that was created and spread by the irrational behaviour of white, blue-eyed people who thought they knew everything, but now show they knew nothing.” He said the world’s poorest countries should not have to pay for a crisis they did not create. Both leaders see part of the solution through trade – calling for a fund of at least 100-billion dollars – that is 75-billion euros – to get goods moving between countries again. The British prime minister said: “It is absolutely vital if we are going to move forward from the recession that world trade is resumed to the benefit of all exporting and importing countries, and the 100-billion dollar proposal is the minimum that I believe we need.” Gordon Brown’s words got a warm welcome. He praised Brazil’s role in the G20. Lula da Silva made no bones about how crucial next week’s summit is. He said that if it becomes just another meeting to set another meeting everyone would be discredited and the crisis could deepen.