According to the respected investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett the US economy has "fallen off a cliff.” If he is correct then the rest of the world’s major economies are already at the bottom with broken limbs and waiting for the ambulance to arrive. In Europe for example exports from Germany have all but collapsed and there is a very real fear that much of Eastern Europe may join Iceland in bankruptcy. It is against this backdrop that the G20 heads of state will gather in London on April 2. The task facing the likes of Obama and Brown is an immense one: they will need to persuade the likes of Germany, Japan and China to do their bit to help boost the global economy by agreeing to bold national, deficit financed, recovery plans. Gordon Brown has long understood that Britain and the US cannot stimulate the economy on their own; as one US commentator has put it “everyone has to grab a bucket and start bailing.”
April’s G20 meeting really matters and at present it looks unlikely that the Brown/Obama partnership will be able to persuade the world’s leading economic powers to take the bold action required.