...this is the most terrifying paragraph you are likely to read all year:Read the whole thing here.World leaders holding an emergency meeting to combat the economic crisis agreed yesterday to a far-reaching action plan that, over the next 4 1/2 months, would begin to reshape international financial institutions and reform worldwide regulatory and accounting rules.
Then there is this:The Europeans got "virtually everything" they sought at the summit, French President Nicholas Sarkozy crowed afterward at a news conference.
I can smell it now, a global "Sarbanes-Oxley" law that neither replaces nor is consistent with American securities regulation or generally accepted accounting principles.
I have long thought, with Niall Ferguson, that only three things could bring the global march toward prosperity to a screeching halt -- a global pandemic, a world war, or a wave of protectionist legislation. Now I have to add a fourth -- this.
ON SECOND THOUGHT:
The only way I can see to justify this horrendous agreement is as an alternative to economic nationalism, allowing responsible leaders to head off popular demands for protectionism, which would in the aggregate probably be worse than this monstrosity.
That assumes, of course, that national leaders are wise enough and strong enough to resist protectionist pressures.