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Deika Morrison: Reasoning the Reasons

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Moderation or Extremism?

Generally speaking, things have been looking up since Friday:
  • I am indeed heartened by the offer by the Secretary General of the UN to host meetings to design the new global financal architecture.
  • Presidents Bush (US), Sarkozy (France and rotating President of the EU) and Barroso (EC) have all agreed on not just one summit to redesign the global financial architecture, they have agreed on a series of summits.
  • In particularly delightful news to me, President Bush has specifically called for the inclusion of developing countries (although he did not say which ones), and has called for some ideas.
Since President Bush has solicited ideas, here's my first idea:

Let's be very realistic about the world we live in because only then can we find sustainable solutions.

One such reality? Lawlessness is rampant - it is convenient and it is creative. It is aided by technology. But the lawless elements have a vested interest in remaining underground and not in the mainstream They do so to survive and thrive.

So that's the reality, but what does it have to do with the current financial situation? Everything. Because although it is not possible to eliminate crime completely, I am somewhat befuddled about what lawless elements are thinking since they are driving the reforms from moderate to extreme.

So let's take a example:

This weekend it is reported that President Sarkozy's personal bank account was broken into via the Internet. See AP report here. Now, President Sarkozy has said over and over and over that he is determined to reform the banking system and the global financial and economic architecture. Do the thieves believe he will be deterred from this determination? They should not believe that because President Sarkozy is not alone in his belief and there is unprecedented global - yes, global - government support and coordination to do whatever it takes to protect their peoples. That's not one person, those are not some people, those are whole systems working together.

Does anyone - leaders or citizens or even criminals - want a system that allows for their funds to be stolen via the Internet? Absolutely not.

Here's what I think criminals must have missed: Governments - not just world leaders - have the power to take extreme measures to prevent this.
  • Governments can decide the Internet "is not in the national interest" - that would get rid of the convenience of stealing.
  • Governments can decide that the existing currencies are "not in the national interest" rendering whatever is stolen absolutely useless.
So breaking into President Sarkozy's bank account via Internet will only strengthen resolve and support for sweeping - and yes, extreme - reforms. Does the rest of the world want extreme reforms? Not necessarily, we agree that we do not want to go back and that we want to go forward building on the successes of the past, and even learning from the failures of the past. But will we understand that we must have extreme measures if those measures protect funds and wealth? Without a doubt! The option of mainstream lawlessness and anarchy is unacceptable and unsustainable; the lawless know that too.

We had a very progressive weekend. We get the message loud and clear: Something has to change; it has to get better; global governments are going to get it done. Anyone willing to bet me that eliminating the possibility of stealing people's funds - especially world leader's funds - is not going to be on the agenda? Well, I bet that it will be because if it was not before, it is now. Look at the principles agreed to by the world governments to deal with this crisis, and we need not look further than the first one:
  • "Take decisive action and use all available tools to support systemically important financial institutions and prevent their failure." In other words, stealing funds via Internet will not be tolerated.
Whether in the statement of principles, or statements in public, world leaders and government officials have shown no problem with terminology like "all necessary steps". And they are not just talking, they are walking.

My two cents? I support Canada's view: meaningful change with restraint and pragmatism so we do not create a system that is worse than what we had before. Since Canada has a keen understanding of sensitive socio-economic matters, let's have Canada speak up and speak loudly in this process.

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Reasoning The Reasons by Deika Morrison is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.