Bob Geldof at the G20 Summit in London yesterday talked to reporters about free trade and free money...
A retreat into protectionism is a retreat to militarism and national bankruptcy. We will ruin countries and in their ruin they will strike out. That is what happens. We require the exact opposite of protectionism. We require expansionism. Where can we expand into and take part in trade? The great triumph of the 21st century is the lifting of 400 million people in China out of extreme poverty through trade. What is significant about this crisis is the lack of trade. It has shut down and we are losing jobs.
It's quite right that there are thousands of people protesting about bankers sticking their noses in the trough while regulators looked the other way and governments smiled as the tax take grew. But the truth is that they may as well protest against themselves, because we sucked on the tit of free money and the bloated bubble that burst was us.
In a globalised world, defending the interests of the poor is now in the self-interest of rich nations. If we are to have a proper lifestyle for ourselves and our kids we need to understand that globalisation is not some abstraction. It is a reality. Global inter-connectedness is not going away. It requires co-operation.
Looking strictly to the national interest is impossible, reductionist, unnecessary. Global co-operation must be the political paradigm for the 21st century or else watch out for the new global disorder.
Yep, money ain't free. And freedom ain't just about money. (But a little of it helps.)
I do agree with everything Geldof says here.