Friday 3 April 2009

Sherlock Holmes and the G20 Adventure

As I entered the Great Detective's rooms at 221B Baker Street I called out "Holmes! Have you heard? The G-20 proclamation. It is a very great triumph for England, Europe and the rest of the civilised world."

Sherlock Holmes's quick eye took in the Daily Mail clasped in my hand. "Thankyou Watson. But your haste was unnecessary. I was aware of the communique, and the celebrated success of the G-20 some time ago." I glanced across to the 42" Plasma screen and Sky Cinema system which I had purchased as a Yuletide gift for Holmes and which in the intervening four months I had rarely seen switched on. Naturally he caught my gaze. He stood hurriedly, placing his breakfast napkin upon the tabletop. "Not on here, dear friend," he smiled, lightly brushing the flat screen. " Although this remarkable device allowed me to deduce certain features of this weeks events."

"Then how did you know of the results of the leaders summit in advance? It was a closely guarded secret. The BBC have only just announced the success of the mission. One trillion dollars of new finance," I asked.
Holmes sat in his favourite chair, smiled his thin smile and puffed his pipe.
"Elementary my dear Watson," and he began his tale. "Firstly,there is no more money. Much of the $250bn in trade finance will come from existing programmes of export guarantees in rich countries, with only $50bn for poor countries. Therefore the sums will be a combination of previous amounts, already announced, or smoke and mirrors illusionist tricks. Remember the 'Strange Case of the 10p Tax Fraud?' This is similar. The Japanese, for example, announced their $100Bn in February. The extra $250BN for the IMF is coming from unknown lenders, as is the new so called Special Drawing Rights worth $250BN. That's $600 BN dollars of the $1 Trillion already. I dare say there are some sundry sums available to draw upon to complete the grand sounding communique. However the real reason that I already knew the financial term of the historic agreement was that the Germans announced it last week."

"Oh, I see," I said somewhat disappointedly. Holmes came to my side.
"But Watson, I did use your visual information device just today.I turned on the screen and received fifteen seconds of intense sensory data. By the exaggerated heave of the young woman announcer's breasts, I knew that either Alan Shearer had been made Manager of Newcastle United Soccer club or that President Obama had arrived in the country. Or, from her breathlessness, possibly both. From the image of an incoherent banner with 'Save Climate not Bankers' I knew that a protest march of disparate Eco-groups would descend upon the heart of the financial district. From a glimpse of Nick Robinson's head, I deduced at once that the Prime Minister had made an important announcement. What with the panic still infecting the markets and the PM's current low standing in the polls he would only make a very positive broadcast. A fleeting view of Her Majesty, led me to concluded the summit had been completed and a new record headline figure of finance had been agreed to save the world."

I looked a little deflated. It had all sounded so magical on Sky News. But Holmes cheered me.
"Come Watson. It could never have been any other way. Now let us turn to more important matters. Chancellor Darling has called upon us to try to find the missing billions from the Treasury accounts.
But first, a quick game of Guitar Hero World Tour on this wonderful X Box 360*. Then we must hurry along to 11 Downing Street. The poor man is beside himself . His budget is four days overdue already. ...Turn up the volume and take the Bass Watson! The games a foot!"


Newmania said...

Excellent .... I wonder if thre MSM are going to cotton on over the next few days .

Demetrius said...

Back in the mid 60's I devised a monster flow chart to set out the Keynesian principles involved in economic management at the time. It owed much to the Phillips Machine, but more to the clarity of JMK's prose and lucidity. Nevertheless, having done this, in applying it to current conditions it was clear that there were serious practical issues. One was leads and lags, another uncertainties and the reliability of the figures, a third, unintended consequences that is unpredictables (events dear boy events), and last but not least George Brown, Richard Crossman, and the trade unions. But I sensed that we were in for a devaluation, cuts (e.g. leaving East of Suez), and more taxes. Inevitably, I was rounded on for disloyalty to my country, failing to understand the critical importance of prestige, and Whitehall knew best. Ho hum............

Fishing out the battered copy I still possess and pawing over it, much has changed, notably in terms of information flows, the financial instruments available and the way the world works. Some things have not. Money is still money, debt is still debt, and sadly politicians and their lobbyists have not changed for the better. Only this time it is all going to be a lot worse.

Nick Drew said...

they already have, Mr Mania - check today's Grauniad, barely a mention of the G20 and it's only Saturday

Charon QC said...

Most enjoyable... I felt \I was there.... the only thing missing? The fog and noise of London, of course, from Peston and ther hyperventilators.

A good weekend to you... The Sundays should be interesting...

And, of course... there is more to come on the issue of MP expenses.. or so they say.

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