Bush to Declare “Economic Mission Accomplished” to G20

I’m as flabbergasted by this as Americablog’s Chris is: George Bush is going to lecture the G20 today about how lovely free trade is.

President George W. Bush today will urge leaders of the world’s biggest industrial and developing economies not to abandon principles of free-market capitalism as they seek a way out of an international financial crisis, calling it the "best system” for delivering growth. 

Even better, the Dim Son is going to lecture his counterparts about the history of the financial crisis.

He will also review how the crisis began and how markets are more interconnected than in the past. 

Haven’t you heard, George? The victors get to write the history, and the US is probably not going to be the victor this time around. 

In fact, this sounds like it will be an attempt to pre-empt a lot of the blame other leaders are ready to heap on Bush for the economic meltdown.

Leaders including Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have used the crisis to demand greater government control of markets and to attack the U.S. for failing to rein in investors and speculators. 


Officials overseas have heaped blame on the U.S. and the notion of unfettered markets promoted by Bush for sparking the crisis. German Chancellor Angela Merkel last month attacked "greed, speculation and mismanagement” and criticized the U.S. for ignoring her call of last year for stronger market regulation. Rudd said "the root of this malaise” lay in the "twin evils” of greed and fear that went unchecked because of “obscene” failures in oversight. 

While defending capitalism as the "most efficient system ever created,” Sarkozy has described as "over” the view that "everything could be solved by deregulation, free competition and the market.” 

And finally, do you find it at all amusing that the President who refuses to tell us which companies have gotten bailed out and has not yet appointed an Inspector General to oversee the bailout is going to lecture his counter-parts about transparency and regulation?

Bush will outline why markets should be subjected to greater transparency and appropriate regulation, while urging international financial leaders to strengthen cooperation, the White House said. 

Which brings me to this whole "we have one president at a time" thing–the mantra that Obama keeps repeating. There was some question, at first, whether Obama would attend this meeting, since he’s the one who will have to implement any new systems they agree on. And, just as importantly, since he’s going to be a lot more amenable to increasing regulations than Bush is.  Sure, Obama’s sending representatives–Maddy Albright and Jim Leach–but he’s not going to be at the meeting.

Which means this meeting is as much an opportunity for Bush to make an ass of himself one last time on the international stage as it will be to implement what few measures can’t wait for Obama to become President officially. I’m sure Obama did the appropriate thing, legally and politically, in not showing up. But it really gives other world leaders one last chance to blame Bush before Obama comes in in January to start fixing things.

30 replies
  1. BlueStateRedHead says:

    no comment says the site. That’s exactly right. First, the EW has said it all. And I am flabbergasted.

  2. BlueStateRedHead says:

    …forgot preview is my friend. I meant to say:
    I am flabbergasted. nothing new there. It’s when the EW is flabbergasted that words fail even the most assiduous and loquacious –if that’s the right word for written words—of posters.

    will check in later.

  3. skdadl says:

    I’ve been googling around to get some hint of how our Steve will handle this situation, which must be difficult for him. Normally, he would want to echo Bush, not only because he has to but because he actually agrees with Bush, but since the election Steve has made nothing but nice noises about Obama, again because he has to, or thinks he does.

    Apparently he’s not showing up till tomorrow — good move, Steve, especially if Bush isn’t going to hang around for the whole session. But he’s going to make a typical speech of his own, urging that people not waste time on talking about regulation — ’cause that’s looking backward, y’know, and who has time? — and leap for stimulus now. Isn’t that the Sarah Palin position from her debate with Biden, a position that Biden immediately took apart?

  4. spoonful says:

    It is easy to place blame for the current economic situation on corporate greed and the lack of regulation of financial instruments, but almost nowhere is the Iraq war fingered as the primary cause. Consider the tremendous cost – easily more than a trillion in direct and indirect costs, as well as the tremendous inefficiency of spending such resources on what is essentially digging a hole in the ground, and you are sure to get a plummeting dollar and the consequential effects we have seen accumulate the last few years. It is easy to grandstand with rhetoric about corporate greed, but hopefully one of these attendees will have the guts to call out “mission accomplished” for his Iraq belligerence.

  5. Leen says:

    EW “And finally, do you find it at all amusing that the President who refuses to tell us which companies have gotten bailed out and has not yet appointed an Inspector General to oversee the bailout is going to lecture his counter-parts about transparency and regulation?”

    I find it “amusing”, pathetic, confirming. Bush suffers from arrested development. An inability to accept any responsibility for his administrations disastrous economic and foreign policies …lots of denial. Iraqi’s Americans, the middle east, economies around the world have all suffered as a direct consequence of his administrations “Sate of Denial” and Greed.

    How insane and completely absurd that Cheney had the fucking nerve to participate in the wreath laying ceremony at the tomb of the unknown soldier. How many deferments did Cheney get furing Vietnam? If I had lost a kid in this war of choice …..I would be on their doorsteps or as close as I could get.

    Why anyone would want to inherit their disaster (Obama)..I don’t quite understand.

  6. Loo Hoo. says:

    It’s best that Obama stay out of view anytime Bush is in view. The picture of the two of them in the oval office is more than enough. (even though they had their backs to us)

    Now I suppose we’ll see Biden and Cheney together…hope that’s a one time thing.

  7. perris says:

    In fact, this sounds like it will be an attempt to pre-empt a lot of the blame other leaders are ready to heap on Bush for the economic meltdown.

    he’s not that smart, his handlers have gotten on his case to try to get people to believe their rediculous “free market” is a good thing meme

  8. der1 says:

    Another “last chance” to eff things up: WASHINGTON – Federal bank regulators have rejected a request by banks and consumer advocates for a program to let lenders forgive huge portions of credit card debt.

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency rejected the request for a special program that would allow as much as 40 percent of credit card debt to be forgiven for consumers who don’t qualify for existing repayment plans.

    AIG and Wall Steet, Yes! The rest of us, Compassionate Conservatism: Bootstrap Economics.

  9. Leen says:

    “Mission Accomplished” billions made by defense contractors, record breaking oil profits, Wall Street Welfare kings walk away with billions. Bush/Cheney…”Mission Accomplished”

  10. lllphd says:

    ew, i think this opportunity for bush to make an ass of himself on the international stage is a very very good thing.

    given that the republicans are already trying to frame this mess as the fault of the democratic congress – and some are even blaming obama! – it is a very ripe and robust chance for bush to OWN it in his own particularly asinine way.

    let him mark it like the dirty dog that he is, pissing on everything that matters while waving his hands wildly toward desperate attempts at legacy, only to signal his delusions and fantasies.

    the world knows these are what got us into this mess in the first place, his and all his neocon cronies; i’m of the opinion that it will be quite delicious to see him punctuate the fact in all his oblivious glory!

    • brendanx says:

      The situation for Americans will also be getting palpably worse for Americans in the two months before Obama takes office. It’s good to remind them every chance they can who the president currently is.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      while waving his hands wildly toward desperate attempts at legacy, only to signal his delusions and fantasies.

      I wish that I could see it this way, but I don’t. Here’s the problem: Bush isn’t completely stupid. He surely knows that he’s in huge legal jeopardy.

      IMHO, Bush, Cheney, and the rest of these criminals have beaucoup motive to leave the biggest conceivable trashpit behind them.

      The more energy and resources the Dems have to spend on damage and cleanup, the less time, skill, and resources they’ll have for dealing with the crimes of Bush43 and his cronies — including Blackwater, Halliburton, ExxonMobil, etc, etc, etc.

      I’d wager it’s a deliberate strategy among those left in the WH.
      It’s their only hope.
      And they still have almost 3 months to ramp it up.

      Yes, they really are that depraved IMHO.

      • lllphd says:

        hm. interesting idea. would not rule that out.

        of course, we’re not at odds here. i was more addressing the advantage for obama in letting bush own things. bush can continue to draw attention to his incompetence and idiocy while cheney sees to it that the nest is so ravaged they make out like the bandits they are, leaving obama overburdened and distracted from the theft.

        but, despite their depravity, i continue to have faith that they’ll eventually get caught. big time.

        and it will likely be europe forcing them to be tried for war crimes.

        we can dream, can’t we?

  11. JohnJ says:

    Side note that Karma’s a bitch:

    I am working with a former Mortgage Broker and his son a, former closer; both makin’ ~$10 an hour now on the production floor.

    The broker blames Clinton for forcing Fanny May to accept poor people who couldn’t pay and the son blames the poor people that party their money away instead of paying their bills. Neither , of course, admits that they were principles to the problem. The son admitted they were making “drug dealer” loans with no verifiable income.

  12. LabDancer says:

    Isn’t all really sort of, I dunno, REASSURING?

    What would really send our flab into a state of deep ergast is if BHO DID show up, like in his cameos during the first 3 nights of the DNC – unless it was to drape his arm on the back of the Water Boy’s shoulder and say something like: “Folks, I hope I’m not breaking up this great time you’re all having, but the Home called and they need Junior back there before his nap time. That would be REALLY reassuring.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Hey, good to see you. (After your many insightful comments in the past, I can only conclude that whoever dissed you yesterday was really confused.)

  13. JohnLopresti says:

    IMF must have to glance in the mirror and ask if this is really happening, second world countries asking for more controls and oversight in international finance. Reading press south of the border reveals funny anecdotes like Brasil’s president Lula worrying about the solvency crisis, even Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner admitting some of the sheen has worn thru though her spouse exPresident of Argentina Nestor Kirchner’s remarks last month seem predictably utopian*. Adding charm to a hampering strait, Fernández evoked memories of the MX financial crunch 14 years ago, and the Asian monetary crisis of recent memory, recoining a euphemism in her UN speech in October 2008 by referring to the US fiscal turmoil in the wake of Bush’s exit as ‘the jazz effect‘. One academic paints the image in mundane terms of what happens to savings and credit of individuals in historically volatile economies whose longterm refuge has been US denominated caches, a sequestration those lands’ upper middle class is witnessing evanesce. Fernández’s view is UN needs to help with future oversight. I think this is an incentive Bush wants to obfuscate but the clamor from abroad is more than his exiting profiteers have found possible to squelch.
    *The linked document is 2 pp., and reads somewhat like Babelfish, as in @6, which is a rare occurrence on Laura’s site, though the transcript she posted likely is an official court document, so, appears with some pidgin passages.

  14. JThomason says:

    The financial crisis really was the October surprise. If Congress fails to support the bail out Obama’s candidacy is at risk. In supporting the the bail out Congress aids and abets one last raid on the treasury by the kleptocracy.

    Once again Congress shows itself easily manipulated by the drum of beltway fear. The boy who cried wolf runs off with the chickens again. Is anybody home?

  15. JThomason says:

    Oh and one more think. If any body thinks that Reid and Pelosi haven’t been swapping knives with Bush one need look know further than Bush’s offer to Obama to support auto manufacturing bail outs for free trade Columbia. If ya lie down with dogs yur gonna get up with fleas.

  16. timbo says:

    Perhaps the market will go up if Bush tells them what a great job he’s doing! Hey, it worked for a few years–why not a few more months? Uh huh.

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