Sarkozy, In Our Language

Looks like the Polish press, as translated by Google, had it right. The NYT:

Mr. Sarkozy made clear that he wants the United States to think again about the missile defense systems that it plans to build in Poland and the Czech Republic. Mr. Medvedev last week threatened to respond by stationing missiles in Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave bordering Poland and Lithuania, both of which are members of NATO and the European Union.

“Between now and then,” said Mr. Sarkozy, referring to the summer summit meeting, “please no more talk of antimissile protection systems.”

Sarko and Medvedev are both putting their stock in a European security conference. I don’t really expect Obama to play. Too high stakes, too early. He’ll be wanting to spend his political capital here. But he’ll definitely do some things quietly to ratchet down the rhetoric.

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G-20, Assessed

The Economist offers its first cut on the weekend G-20 summit:

Whatever the tactical reasons, the success of this weekend’s gathering has permanently changed the machinery of international economic co-operation. The centre of global economic summitry has shifted from the G7 (the rich countries’ club) to a broader group. A follow-up meeting has been scheduled for April 30th 2009. Even in areas that primarily affect them alone, such as the regulation of the most sophisticated financial instruments, rich countries will no longer set the agenda on their own.

Read the whole thing. Meanwhile, Tom Barnett is not impressed:

Simply put, the agenda right now is too vast and there are two many competing great powers for any one solution to apply. So expect a boom market for new rules over the next few years, but no one great pact. Viewed in this light, you take the meager results of the recent summit in stride.

G-20 Summit Results

Bush or no, there’s consensus among the leaders of the world’s most important powers on the causes of the meltdown:

3. During a period of strong global growth, growing capital flows, and prolonged stability earlier this decade, market participants sought higher yields without an adequate appreciation of the risks and failed to exercise proper due diligence. At the same time, weak underwriting standards, unsound risk management practices, increasingly complex and opaque financial products, and consequent excessive leverage combined to create vulnerabilities in the system. Policy-makers, regulators and supervisors, in some advanced countries, did not adequately appreciate and address the risks building up in financial markets, keep pace with financial innovation, or take into account the systemic ramifications of domestic regulatory actions.

4. Major underlying factors to the current situation were, among others, inconsistent and insufficiently coordinated macroeconomic policies, inadequate structural reforms, which led to unsustainable global macroeconomic outcomes. These developments, together, contributed to excesses and ultimately resulted in severe market disruption.

The summit communique can be found at the NYT. There’s also agreement on the need for cross-border regulation:

Supervisors should collaborate to establish supervisory colleges for all major cross-border financial institutions, as part of efforts to strengthen the surveillance of cross-border firms. Major global banks should meet regularly with their supervisory college for comprehensive discussions of the firm’s activities and assessment of the risks it faces.

The Washington Post offers a good summary of the outcome. Sarkozy is happy.

Sarkozy: Not So Fast

If Google’s Russian and Polish translations are to be believed, French President Nicolas Sarkozy wants both the US and Russia to cool it on the whole missile deployment/missile defense front for six months or so. In other words, let’s wait for Obama. He also wants a Euro security conference. The Poles apparently aren’t thrilled by any of this.