Obama Plays Peacemaker in French-Chinese Smackdown Over Tax Havens.
<blockquote><p>The issue: Sarko wanted "a list of non-compliant jurisdictions," tones that allow tax havens, he senior official said. "Other countries wanted it too, but (Sarkozy) was the most outspoken."</p> <p>Sarkozy specifically was pushing for a list from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to be included in the G-20 Leaders' Statement.</p> <p>Headquartered in Paris, the OECD has 30 member countries -- all capitalist democracies. </p> <p>China opposed any such list being included in the final Leaders' Statement.</p> <p>"China tends to have a problem endorsing the documents of organizations like the OECD that they're not a party to," the senior administration official said.</p> <p>But Mr. Obama, according to this account, stepped between the two men, urging them to try to find consensus, and giving them a "pep talk" about the importance of working together.</p> <p>The senior adminstration official said that Mr. Obama pulled Mr. Sarkozy aside, took him to a corner, "and discussed possible alternatives," the senior official said.</p> <p>Once they arrived at one, President Obama "sent a message to the Chinese" that a counter-offer was on the table. The Chinese spent some time considering the offer. But they took a few minutes.</p> <p>So Mr. Obama, with the assistance of translators, suggested that he and Mr. Hu have a conversation as well. They, too went to the corner to talk. After a few minutes, Mr. Obama called upon Mr. Sarkozy to join them.</p> <p>"Translators and sherpas in tow, they reached an agreement," the official said. "There was a multiple shaking of hands."</p> <p>The agreement: the final G-20 document would state that the G-20 nations "stand ready to deploy sanctions to protect our public finances and financial systems. The era of banking secrecy is over. We note that the OECD has today published a list of countries assessed by the Global Forum against the international standard for exchange of tax information."</p></blockquote>
An acquaintance of mine commented with the following:
<blockquote>I generally do not like Jake Tapper, as I think he tends to be a gossipy, grandstanding journalist, and a poor choice for being the public face of the network in Washington, DC.
That said, this article comes via various sources at ABC News, and it excellently sums up the best possible reason to have elected Barack Obama.
Here is a clear example of President Obama doing something that Bush couldn't do, and McCain doesn't do anymore... spontaneously diffusing a confrontation that could endanger his goals by appealing to people's self-interest, laying out alternatives, and getting two generally beligerent and disagreeable world leaders to rapidly work out their differences and enthusiastically move forward in a unified way.
While there are obvious unavoidable structural problems with the world's economy, how people respond to the crisis does, in fact, matter greatly.</blockquote>I find myself inclined to agree. In case you're not quite steady yet on how important this is, here's an excerpt from that last link in Insomnia's commentary.
<blockquote><p>World leaders yesterday clinched a $1.1 trillion (BD415 billion) deal to combat the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and tightened the rules to stop it happening again.</p> <p>At a G20 summit in London, they agreed to publish a blacklist of tax havens that could lead to sanctions, and for the first time to impose oversight on large hedge funds and credit rating agencies. (...)</p><p>Stocks, battered by the crisis, reacted positively. The index of top European shares was up five per cent. London's FTSE 100 index ended 4.3pc higher. On Wall Street, the Nasdaq was up 3.87pc and the Dow Jones 3.3pc. In London, oil prices gained $4.31 to settle at $52.75 a barrel.</p></blockquote>
That's some <i">good shit[/i], right there.