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The Trillion Dollar Man?

Nick Robinson | 13:48 UK time, Thursday, 2 April 2009

Will Gordon Brown be the trillion dollar man? He certainly hopes so.

Long before this G20 summit began, he and Barack Obama lost the argument about the need for world leaders to commit to spend - and, if necessary, to borrow - more to fund another fiscal stimulus.

However, the prime minister hopes to be able to announce a package of other measures - trade finance, IMF loans and increased liquidity - which adds up to a nice fat sum big enough to appeal to headline writers and, they hope, to boost the confidence of the financial markets and consumers around the world.

brown_g20_getty226.jpgAlready, the sums being talked of are:

• Increased IMF funds - $500bn
• Increased IMF Special Drawing Rights - $250bn
• New Trade Finance package - more than $200bn

Only $50bn needed to reach the magic figure of a trillion. Not much between G20 friends. Is it?

Update 14:23: He's done it.

Gordon Brown has got his trillion.

Remember, of course, that this is not a trillion dollars spent now. It is a pledge to make funds available up to that level if countries can convince international institutions that they have met the necessary criteria.

It has nothing to do with the argument about whether our government, or indeed, any other should spend or borrow more.


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  • Comment number 1.

    It's not boosting my confidence

  • Comment number 2.

    I don't think Gordon Brown knows what he's doing, you know.

  • Comment number 3.

    Business as usual... make sure the SPIN is in place regardless of any actual measures to ensure that free trade is priority number one.

    Even if it is sometimes shaky, capitalism is the best sytem we have to alleviate poverty. Best of a bad bunch.

  • Comment number 4.

    Interesting that Gordon Brown is putting so much emphasis on increasing IMF funds. Put that together with Treasury Minister Stephen Timms' comment at a G20 briefing today that "We have moved beyond the era of stigma around the IMF" and it's all nicely set up for us to go cap in hand to the IMF sooner rather than later when the money runs out!

  • Comment number 5.

    I see that already David Cameron is talking down the G20 achievements. Let's face it, if Gordon Brown had followed DCs doctrine, he would have done nothing and, therefore, achieved nothing. It seems to me that his tour around the world, drumming up support for the US/UK solutions has achieved more than we could have hoped. With today's news that house prices have risen for the first time in 17 months, manufacturing bottomed out in the last quarter, and the Footsie is way over 4000, things can only get better. Maybe GB knew what he was talking about when he said the UK was better placed than most to weather this recession. From the severity of the downturn in most of the G20 countries, it looks as if he might be right.

  • Comment number 6.

    More grandstanding that helps very few

    Just see the farce in the Ukraine, defaulting on their loans because the IMF won't allow them to comply with less stringent conditions.

    An affirmation of keeping the 3rd world in their position

  • Comment number 7.

    The Trillion Dollar Man?

    If Gordon Brown is the Trillion Dollar Man, what's our friend (though not Nicks or the BBC's friend) Daniel Hannon worth?

  • Comment number 8.

    is any of this new money?

  • Comment number 9.

    Nick for once you were naughty you actually asked a tough question and I thought your mate was going to pee his pants. "MR President it all started in America". I though Crash was going to swallow his crowns he didn't know were to put his face more of this please.

    Let's make it clear it's not Crash making all the running quite the opposite it seems that he is now jumping the Germanic Franco alliance which will always go out of its way to scupper his plans. O.B. can pat him on the back all he wants it will still not raise his profile his flush has well and truly been busted. In fact the way Crush has been acting it would make any self-respecting sycophant blush.

    Crush is very good at talking big numbers especially when it comes to spending my taxes but when it comes down to the nitty gritty of politics he's nowhere to be seen. Why does he want all this money to go to the IMF? Could it be that he will need to go there himself with a massive begging bowl?

    Dannan for PM

  • Comment number 10.

    So having spent all our money, he has access to someone elses - oh dear.

  • Comment number 11.

    Update 14:23: He's done it.

    Gordon Brown has got his trillion.

    Strewth Crush has save the world again, single handed he fought 19 Nations of the World and got his Trillion $, and it is going to do what for the UK economy?

  • Comment number 12.

    A trillion dollars may get headline writers excited, but what is it going to do for unemployed ex-Woolworths employees? Naff all I would expect!

    Still, let Culpability Brown have his day in the sun - he still has his own sleaze to deal with - the Home Secretary, Ian McNulty and Lord Myners are still in office and they jolly well shouldn't be!

  • Comment number 13.

    When you say a "pledge" to make funds available, could you remind me of the difference between a "pledge", a "promise", and a "commitment"?

    I seem to remember there's some sort of hierarchy there, such that one of those things might actually happen, but can't remember which is which.

  • Comment number 14.

    Nick Robinson writes: ".. the prime minister hopes to be able to announce a package of other measures .."

    yes, announces! if the government were to actually _implement_ some measures, using real monies instead of artifacts of modern accountancy.

  • Comment number 15.

    So whats the betting that we're first in the queue for a chunk of that trillion then?

    Pity we'll only waste it creating more public service non-jobs and buying Labour votes.

  • Comment number 16.

    Brilliant and inspired.

  • Comment number 17.

    In essence , a lot of hot air has been produced, the arrangements and security cost 50 million and Brown got his photo taken with Obama. However , the USA France Germany and any other country with any sense will now look after it's own people and make sure it spends it's own money at home ( apart from the UK ). Meanwhile Brown will claim that somehow or other he has again saved the world, though in reality nothing will have changed. We will still be as deeply imbedded in the Labour created mire we were in before G20 and we will not see any way out of it until we have a change of government.

  • Comment number 18.

    Doesn't this just say it all about Brown and his profligacy

    Brown wants a trillion!

    I wish it was that easy in the real world for people to bail themselves out with a flap of the jowl.

    When will Brown get it. ITS TIME TO STOP SPENDING!

  • Comment number 19.

    The fact is that it really doesn't matter what numbers are agreed.

    The USA and UK banking communities were well out of line. Badly regulated. Brown was turning up year after to year to praise the financial sector, while HIS regulatory system failed to spot what was obviously going wrong.

    Brown told the BoE to ignore house price inflation, when managing "inflation". The BoE has said that, had run-away house prices been included, it would have affected the way they adapted interest rates.

    A "global problem" was to a large extent generated by folks in the City, who were consistently told they were innovative and contributing to the "growth" of the UK... By Big Gordon.

    You don't need a Masters in Business Studies/Economics (which Brown doesn't have) or even an understanding of history (which Brown claims, but never seems to have exercised) to realise that encouraging a credit-based boom just ain't the same as real growth.

    I really don't give a stuff if the G20 creates a load of verbiage.

    Brown has screwed up UK people by withdrawing the 10p tax-band. THAT has nothing to do with global pressures. Just a rather silly, Brown,local decision.

    No explanation yet as to how Brown will correct that decision (which negated one of the best decisions I thought he had made. There haven't been that many! Bring the population to their knees, then claim that "they" benefit from a subservience and search through pages of "how to get back the money I never wanted to give you" stuff).

    I really hope that the G20 comes up with something. To counteract the stupidity of lax regulation in the US and UK.

    (There is no evidence that any UK regulator - especially the FSA, created by Brown, which was supposed to work with the Treasury and BoE - actually did anything to prevent stupid UK financial institutions from being as stupid as they liked! They admitted they knew that Northern Rock was in a bad state. Did what? Nothing. Any interest from the Treasury? Not really. Too much good tax-take from banking community to worry about where all that theoretical "growth" was coming from.)

    I could have "made up" money. Most of us could. I could print bank-notes and pretend that they mean anything. That's all that has happened. People who Brown said were the key-stone to the UK's growth just invented "assets".

    Sad thing is that Brown accepted an illusionary "growth" was equivalent to actually producing stuff.

    Thatcher was a pain. She tried to force the Brits to recognise that just having people producing useless and overpriced stuff would not really work.

    Odd, really, that the UK car manufacturing base is now largely foreign owned, so much innovative technology in F1 is based in the UK.

    So peculiar that government departments are willing to subsidise wind-farms (which everbody accepts as being inefficient and only supportable via government subsidy - meaning OUR money) while failing to invest in tidal and wave based technology. Wind comes and goes. As far as I can tell over the millenia, the tides ALWAYS happen. Maybe Brown will go and paddle and tell the winds to blow harder, consistently, while the tides should only happen once a week...

    So Ed Miliband believes that it should be "socially unacceptable" to refuse wind-farms. OK. Prove the genuine economic benefits. Then make the little git live within 100 metres of such a farm. That could be his second home. No doubt claimable on his MP's expenses.

  • Comment number 20.

    Dear Mods.

    Why, whenever I post, do you pop up a message to say that as a "new member" things will need to be pre-moderated?

    Can you give anyone an idea when a "new poster" becomes a "recognised" poster?

    I wondered about that previosuly, but there don't seem to be any guide lines.

    Just stuff you make up?

    That's really not nice.

    It sounds as though people who may care a bit about political stuff should be treated with disdain.

    Not surprising, post the Hatton fiasco, I suppose. It was a little odd to see Campbell strutting down the stairs to tell the world that he had been vindicated, while all the evidence said that the BBC had won the argument, but lost the political fix.

  • Comment number 21.

    Mr Robinson.

    Your headline is as if this is what Gordon Brown had told everyone beforehand. He wanted to spend more of our future wealth. The Bank of England stopped that.

    This is just in case we have to go to the IMF to borrow money and it must be taken into context with what Stephen Timms has said, I am sure you were there!, that borrowing money from the IMF is not the scandal it was!! words to that effect.

    Gordon Brown's announcements have to be carefully analysed, washed and analysed, washed again and each word carefully analysed. Then we will all realise we have been sold a poke!!

    It always happens with Gordon Brown.

    The sooner there is a general election to rid this country of Gordon Brown and his incompetent government the better.

  • Comment number 22.

    Are the Mods taking industrial action?

  • Comment number 23.

    Update 14:23
    Geez Nick, sounds like you almost wet yourself.

    Nice headlines, lets hope they make good on their promises, particularly on support for the developing countries.

    Gordo's max'ed out our credit card, now he's persuaded the Chinese and Saudis to start abusing theirs. No end to his talents.

    It's all in the details...

  • Comment number 24.

    All terribly impressive for those, like journalists, who are impressed by big numbers. In reality what does it mean? What has actually been achieved?

    Will the 1,100 being made redundant by Aviva today feel happier in the knowledge that The Crashmeister has got a 'deal'? Or the 600 sacked by Visteon. Or the 1,000 laid off by Bombardier? Is a redundancy cheque suddenly more valuable because twenty (or twenty-nine, or a hundred and twent-nine for that matter, it makes no difference) heads of government sat in a room for five hours and looked serious?

    I have no doubt that they believe they have made a difference. Crash will fight an election, eventually, on the premise. But let's not be fooled that they, more than any other twenty souls on the planet, can know what the impact of whatever it is they think they have 'agreed' will be. Only time will tell, as the saying goes. And in the meantime?

    No doubt the brokers will take the opportunity for a short bull run to win back some of their losses on a reflation of confidence before the reality again becomes clear. No doubt Crash will claim His was the vision, the power and the glory. Who knows, some might even believe him, although not enough, I'll bet, to persuade him to take his own ultimate gamble.

    It's a nice idea, I'll give him that, but before April becomes May, I can guarantee that Minsters' expenses, rising jobless and a Budget that lays bare the parlous state of the UK balance sheet, will make this week seem like a distant memory, like last year's holiday in the sun, when all we've got to look forward to this year, is a wet weekend in Skegness (I've never been, they tell me it's very nice).

  • Comment number 25.


    I fear you are being spun, yet again. When will you learn? As Chancellor, Gordon Brown was renowned for his creative accountancy, and not just by keeping our burgeoning debts off the national books, he also developed a habit of spending the same money twice; occasionally three or four times. The method was repeat announcements, dressed up us fresh proposals… So before you start triumphantly christening Brown as the $1Trillion man. May I suggest that you and your fellow journalists break the habit of a lifetime and actually read the small print. As a rule of thumb you should ask yourselves – how much of this money will actually be spent and where? And perhaps even more pertinently – how much of it is new money? And where or from whom is it coming? The Chinese, the Saudi's etc... and what do they want or expect in return? Until we learn the answers to these questions, it would be wise to reserve judgement.

    But if you do want to tie Gordon Brown to the $1 Trillion tag; then why don’t you mention that this country alone is expected to have a budget deficit in excess of this figure – courtesy of one G. Brown.

  • Comment number 26.

    "Remember, of course, that this is not a trillion dollars spent now."

    Of course not. Gordon Brown has long since mastered the art of making big announcements which haven't actually happened yet.

  • Comment number 27.


    You are falling into Gordon Brown speak where it is only the amount of fictitious money that is pledged that is important. This is headline grabbing, vacuous nonsense. It is always easy to give away someone else's money but what about any tangible benefits?

  • Comment number 28.

    Eeeeek.... are we still allowed to bellow: "NOT IN MY NAME!"

    He doesn't represent anybody in the UK so why is he committing us to anything?

    I like the way that Obama especially asked to see Cameron; maybe his people are telling him something!!

  • Comment number 29.

    Where's my comment?All new members are pre-moderated initially, which means that there will be a short delay between when you post your comment and when it appears while one of our moderators checks it.

    Interesting definition of "short". The first comment was made at 2:26 and at 3:40 still hasn't been checked. Hardly makes for active discussion.

  • Comment number 30.

    Apples and pears Nick. apples and pears.

    What Brown was after was further fiscal stimuli in individual countries with advanced/developed economies aimed at futher boosting their own domestic economies,over and above those to which they had already committed. Doubtless those already committed amounts will be thrown in when reporting the achievements of this summit. A typical Brown reannouncement ploy.

    The elements you now list are completely different and,in any event, why do you imply that they are all Brown's doing?

    Your are now getting the Brown spin out faster than he can manage it himself. Did you receive your journalist training at Pravda ?

    By the way, one interesting thing to track will be future international aid budgets of the countires who are asked to chip in extra funds to IMF. A cynical thought - might there be an element of switched funding as opposed to new funding? Surely not ?

  • Comment number 31.

    Not happy to bankrupt our own nation now he seeks to bankrupt the world....what is he on? The man is dellusional.....he clearly has got President Obama's blessing for being the next world leader of some sort of global financial organisation/ regulator. Having overseen the paupering of our nation he nows seeks to do the same for the world. Oh dear.

  • Comment number 32.


    It would be good if you and Peston posted about just how many banks across the G20 countries had received massive support from their governments simply because they had engaged in "make-it-up" money transactions.

    Brown harps on about a "Born in the USA" recession. Never admits that HIS FSA failed to spot what was pretty obvious to little folk - i.e. that UK banks were party to "invent-a-buck" nonsense. Even while he consistently praised the bankers for their innovation - until they didn't deliver tax-take...

    Wasn't it Dusty Springfield who sang "The only one who could turn me on was the son of a preacher man".

    I was turned on by the idea of Prudence. (Maybe I fancied that sort of lady!) What happened? Possibly 1997-2000 of a realistic economic posture. Then 2001 to 2008 of complete financial splurge.

    Pump up the bankers, take the tax, then turn around and blame them because he simply wasn't interested in HOW they appeared to deliver nonsensical profits (or bother about rediculous house price rises) when the mood changed.

    I didn't much like the snake-oil salesman, but thought Brown would be a reasonable Chancellor. He was. For a while. Then it just seemed he couldn't work out how to turn the tap from FULL on to "lower it a bit".

    Pity he ever left academia. His books don't exactly excite. But they are OK. Probably the sort of stuff you read on a beach to "prove" you are in contact with big issues. But you leave in the hotel room...

    Blair was a loose cannon. Brown was supposed to be a point of stability. But turned out to be an idiot with a purpose. Then blames everybody in the global economy for allowing the UK economy (forget the rest) to be dragged back a century.

  • Comment number 33.

    Update 14:23: He's done it.
    Gordon Brown has got his trillion.

    Just wanted to see what it looked like all on its own.
    I'm pretty sure the other 32 awaiting moderation might have noted it to.

    Now I am of to find out what the real news, in actual context, is. And how it affects the pockets of those not enjoying state salaries and pensions.

  • Comment number 34.

    Over 2 hours since this post appeared and still no comments? Have the mods been "kettled"?

  • Comment number 35.

    Could your pro-Brown bias be any more evident? In what sense has *he* done it? Surely they did it, and whilst ensuring the global crash webbing is stronger is an important thing, it's not as if this is the unified solution to everything that would justify this level of excitement.

    Shouldn't BBC journalists be more neutral than this? Where is the coverage of Dan Hannan destroying Brown in the Euro parliament?

  • Comment number 36.

    Nick, you say:
    It has nothing to do with the argument about whether our government, or indeed, any other should spend or borrow more.
    So the UK contribution to this fund will be zero. If not we are talking about borrowed money Nick.

    Perhaps Crash is lining this one up for the IMF in anticipation of his future visit to them, cap in hand!

  • Comment number 37.

    Hope that headline readers tomorrow understand that it is our money (not magical 'The Government' money) that is being committed.

    This stimulus will lead to inflation, swingeing cuts in public expenditure and tax rises.

    A question for any Americans on here - would you invest your money in GM, a company which makes cars no-one wants?



  • Comment number 38.


    Not your fault I know… but two hours and counting with not one single comment moderated and accepted. So not only does the BBC's reporting of Mr Brown now resemble Stalinist propaganda for ‘Our Dear Leader’ (when do we get the tractor production figures?) but Auntie’s standards of customer care (yes – we the license fee payers are your customers, you work for us) now equate with the old nationalised industries of the Soviet Union. What’s going on….?

  • Comment number 39.

    Dear Beeb

    I'm not a new member



    PS lots of good IT folk out there with no jobs at the moment if you need someone to fix this problem

  • Comment number 40.

    You make it sound like a cheap game show Nick

    It is all for nothing - they will all pat themselves on the back, Brown [and the BBC] will proclaim it a personal victory but not one jot will change.

    Whatever gains there are on the markets will disappear as soon as the next bad news story comes and everyone will embark on their own protectionist policies.

    What a charade!

  • Comment number 41.

    It's all just numbers being bandied about and pledged that will never (ever) materialise into cash and/or practical help. It carries the hallmark of Gordon Brown: headline grabbing spin. The man is deceit personified and this just adds another notch to his belt.

    Just look at the amount of money pledged over the years in aid to developing countries that never sees the light of day. This'll be no different. Indeed, it'll be worse because we're all as good as bankrupt.

    Back to the crisis chaps and every man for himself.

  • Comment number 42.

    How many years is this GBP 1 trillion dollars going to be over? If over more than 3 well I doubt it will be worth much.

    Its very easy to promise money but much more difficult to deliver it. Palestine, Afghanistan and making poverty history after the G8 in 2005 come to mind.

    I'm rather reminded of the scene in Austin Powers where Doctor Evil is blackmailing the US government with his laser and can't get his millions, billions or trillions right. It all seems somewhat unreal.

  • Comment number 43.

    #5 valdan70

    "Maybe GB knew what he was talking about when he said the UK was better placed than most to weather this recession. From the severity of the downturn in most of the G20 countries, it looks as if he might be right."

    To entertain those thoughts is to court insanity. I suggest you shut the door and accept the fact that he's an utter lunatic.

  • Comment number 44.


    You know, I think you're right.

    Thank goodness for that. And there was me thinking that all these redundancies were evidence of what was actually happening in the real world. Just goes to show, we don't know how lucky we are. In fact, I think we may never have had it so good.

  • Comment number 45.

    Greetings Nick,

    Today on WATO at 1.10pm you said:

    "bring the tax havens back into law".

    Please furnish me with a list of Laws, UK or otherwise, that tax havens are currently transgressing.

    I look forward to your response.

    Best regards
    RRW (Mrs)

  • Comment number 46.

    Re: 5

    Meanwhile the govenment continues to spend four pounds for every three it receives. And Bombardier announce 1000 job losses.

    And how long before the whole thing supposedly agreed at the G20 starts to unravel?

  • Comment number 47.

    Looking at the funding of the IMF Britain and France both contribute 4.94% of all funds, Germany 5.9% and the USA contributes 17%.

    So we are contributing approximately 50bn of the trillion bn package - something to celebrate guys!

    Look on thr bright side we may well be claiming it back again soon

  • Comment number 48.

    #7 the lone whinger

    is our trillion dollar man bionic or just plain bonkers?

  • Comment number 49.

    Just watch Gordon Brown's press conference in it's entirety.

    He absolutely is the king of obfuscation! Didnt directly answer a single question from the press.

    Sounds like China got shafted in this whole summit, they got very little of their requests and forked out a decent wedge of the IMF buffer fund.

    Japan chucking in $100Bn sounds bizarre, are they just going to print their money and sod it?

    Note the whole of the EU is only putting in $100bn and no input whatsoever from the US?

    Regardless, stockmarkets soared today, FTSE100 up over 4%

  • Comment number 50.

    just watched Gordon's Q and A at the G20 - quite impressive, don't you think? - no? - well I thought so - whether you loathe him, or just dislike him a little bit, you have to admit he came across as bright, knowledgable, switched on - a good show and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see another one of those BROWN BOUNCES in the next few days

    food for thought for the CAUPOGBAI too, I shouldn't wonder

  • Comment number 51.

    Update 14:23: He's done it.

    Gordon Brown has got his trillion.

    Nick you really need to get a grip, He's done it... he's done it, you sound like a love struck BBC political journalist...
    Done what exactly? ,he's agreed a range of pledges with 19 other countries is what I'm seeing, but then it's not my job to try and make Gordon Brown look like some kind of world saviour that's for people like you.....

  • Comment number 52.

    Gordon Brown, one of the chief architects of this boom and bust, continues to spend money he simply does not have. He continues to lecture us all on only he can save us and the world and the BBC just lap it up.

    If the BBC stopped brown nosing our PM and began asking the right questions (sorry Nick, one good question yesterday does not give your credibility back)then maybe we might see some accountability to what has happened.

    Thousands of more job losses announced today as Brown continues to wine and dine. The FTSE maybe up today but its still considerably below what it was a year ago.

    We have a situation now,possbily due to the very low interest rates, that house prices actually rose last month. House prices need to come down another 25% and lending must not be at more than 3.5x earnings. If not this terrible cycle will just start again.

    Interest rates will rise again.

    Never trust a government which spends money it doesn't have.

  • Comment number 53.

    Where's this trillion dollars coming from? ZanuLabour here we come.
    Dr Gideon Gono for Director of the IMF, he will sort it out.

  • Comment number 54.

    One trillion dollars promised to the IMF as an overdraft facility for developing countries. That was the main thrust of today's G20 communique. 100 billion from Japan, 40 billion from China another 100 billion from Europe etc. What is our contribution to all of this? Gordon Brown has his fiscal stimulus and in passing today couldn't resist saying 'I've been pushing for some of these changes for 10 years.'
    What will it mean for British workers and pensioners? Very little I suspect because we are already broke although in answer to Sky's Adam Boulton Gordon Brown categorically claimed that by supporting developing countries there would be twice the positive effect on British jobs and British prosperity. Can't see it myself. The boast from The Prime Minister that we have injected the biggest fiscal stimulus and initiated the most dramatic reductions in interest rates known to the world is not something that he should be completely proud of as there are many losers in this including myself.
    I see the 'do nothing' brigade have reappeared because of the money injection announced. I will be interested to see The German and French reaction to what has been agreed although they appear to have got their way on financial regulations. It will be interesting to see if the moves on tax havens and protectionism have any teeth.

  • Comment number 55.

    Can I please have a pint of what Valdan70, post 5, has been drinking?

  • Comment number 56.

    "It is a pledge to make funds available up to that level if countries can convince international institutions that they have met the necessary criteria."

    So it's only an *if* which in reality means absolutely nothing at allexcept spin, spin and more spin.

    The only thing I see here is that when UKplc is forced to go begging to the IMF, Paw Broon can try to claim this all entirely ok as part of 'global solutions for global problems' as agreed by G20...

    Election please.

  • Comment number 57.


  • Comment number 58.

    Sounds good considering we'll be requiring a bail-out from the IMF soon.

  • Comment number 59.


    I am listening the Radio 4 news. who is being interviewed, not Bob Geldorf, please save us. He is actually trying to sound if he knows what he is talking about. He is just so rude about Sarkozy, this from an Irishman whose economy is actually shot to pieces. It is nonsense. Wait until next year and then the excrement will really hit the fan, just like it eventually did in 1928 when all the money was gone. by 1929 there was absolutely nothing left and we know what happened next.

  • Comment number 60.

    The key question is how much is new money and how much is the old Brownian trick of re-announcing stuff?

  • Comment number 61.

    I see they're going to do "whatever is necessary".

    That's nice. What exactly is necessary?

  • Comment number 62.

    Oh Dear..More typically G7/G8/G20 communiques.

    What's the reality? Did anyone commit to higher spending? Was this the Global fiscal stimulus that Brown was harping on about? Does it affect every single member of the British public? Will France and Germany actually do anything?

    To me it only appears that an extended line of credit MAY be available to Countries that can't afford to spend us!!

    ...and we'll still have to fulfil certain criteria before we increase our debt even more than at present..What are theses criteria?...and will an IMF bail out of UK bankrupt even more generations of our childrens childrens children?

  • Comment number 63.

    Complete and utter failure, you could tell from Browns demeanour that it was his last chance and he blew it.

    Nothing at all in this package to help this country. except the increased amount to the IMF which is good news because I think Britain is going to need it.

    All this G20 has done is add more money to our Government debt to host it, and given Obama a world stage to play on.

  • Comment number 64.

    5. At 2:38pm on 02 Apr 2009, valdan70 wrote:
    I see that already David Cameron is talking down the G20 achievements. Let's face it, if Gordon Brown had followed DCs doctrine, he would have done nothing and, therefore, achieved nothing. It seems to me that his tour around the world, drumming up support for the US/UK solutions has achieved more than we could have hoped. With today's news that house prices have risen for the first time in 17 months, manufacturing bottomed out in the last quarter, and the Footsie is way over 4000, things can only get better. Maybe GB knew what he was talking about when he said the UK was better placed than most to weather this recession. From the severity of the downturn in most of the G20 countries, it looks as if he might be right.

    Good grief - I can't believe Gordon Brown would come on to this post under a false name. Only he could write such a glowing review of himself. What a joke. Gordon Brown has bankrupted the nation. Years of boom and we have nothing to show for it. The one industry that paid taxes, financial services, is in tatters. Who is going to pay all of these public sector wages and pensions? Not me, I'll be emigrating the minute they try to raise taxes any further.

  • Comment number 65.


    I'd love to be able to tell you when a "new" poster becomes a "recognised" poster, but since I've only been registered since 2006 I'm also in the "new" category.

  • Comment number 66.

    This G20 meeting must go down as the most expensive political broadcast ever. (on behalf of the unelected GB)

  • Comment number 67.

    The G20 charade was always going to be a huge success and the brow-beaten public had to get used to it. The big media manipulators at the White House and Downing Street would make sure of that.

    But to build it up and claim some kind of 'victory', as I would suggest you have done Nick, is simply not true.

    The $1 trillion 'stimulus' is not what Brown had been wandering around demanding over the last few months. It's a funding increase for the IMF - something that had already been agreed at the finance ministers meeting last month.

    The rest of the summit was a complete disaster. Though the beginning of a thaw between the US and Russia was tremendously significant. And that happened away from G20.

    Through the summit Brown faced piles of trials with smiles and after today it's business as usual.

  • Comment number 68.

    fairly @ 32

    Wasn't it Dusty Springfield who sang "The only one who could turn me on was the son of a preacher man" ??

    who could "ever teach me" was the SOAP man ... can't remember anything about turning me on ... but I've got it somewhere (I think) so I'll play it and report back

  • Comment number 69.

    OK Nick where is this 5 Trillion actually coming from and what is the substance of its worth ? Some countries Gold reserve or what ?
    Hopefully it is "real" money in the sense that it is actually redeemable against some real assets like Gold or whatever. I suspect however its just more funny money either lent by banks who dont actually have it(as in pyramid sorry fractional reserve banking as used by Bernie Madoff)or the printing presses are going to be busy.
    If so why stop at 5 why not 10 trillion and some beer money for the weekend the wife getting her hair done and some new shoes for the kids ?

    I may be wrong and Crash has indeed pulled a real Rabbit out a real hat ( somehow I doubt it ) but I am hoping for some real analysis of what is actually going on here. I am not necessarily impressed by Commentators runninmg about proclaiming "He did it, he did it " and such like. Know what I mean Nick ; )

  • Comment number 70.

    Oh yes I am also looking for some analysis on Browns apparent mission to create some Global super state, just listen again to his comments today. Be afraid be very afraid.

  • Comment number 71.

    Nick said:
    "Remember, of course, that this is not a trillion dollars spent now. It is a pledge to make funds available up to that level if countries can convince international institutions that they have met the necessary criteria.
    It has nothing to do with the argument about whether our government, or indeed, any other should spend or borrow more"
    Have to say this is the first time for a while that I have felt both Nick and Robert P. are realising how bad Gordon Brown really is. I am very concerned that Gordon will see this as a green light to draw on IMF funds and increase the UK debt even more as he tries to buy votes between now and May 2010.
    We can only hope that David Cameron and his team bring him back earth next week over the more mundane issues facing the country such as:

    :: 2 million unemployment and rising
    :: The weakest GBP for a very long time
    :: Cabinet Ministers appearing to fiddle expense claims
    :: Price and tax increases on a number of basic consumer costs including fuel, water, BT phone, Prescription charges in England, 1st class post
    -- just to name a few.

    Oh and by the way -- how much did this 2 day meeting cost GBP50million !

  • Comment number 72.

    Good job the IMF fund has been increased - we will probably be dipping into it before the years out. Especially if we keep on losing jobs like we have today.

    However, it looks like we have another of helping of Brown’s typical, “ U.K. budget structured,” communiqués. All, "smoke and mirrors," – with old money, money already set aside being added in with new money to make the totals look impressive - plus a large dollop of fine print. Perhaps the other G20 don’t know how a, U.K. budget works.

    In 2- 3 weeks time, when the communiqué all been unravelled, we will know the true ramification of the hype of the G20 conference. No kick start for the economy. Just more of the same - more and more debt being stacked up for future generations to pay off.

    Once we get past the usual self congratulatory interviews, the country will return to its previous state of limbo. Until we have a General Election there seems little enthusiasm in the country to move forward. Anything done by Brown in the lead up to the election will be unpicked quick time by his successor.

    Brown has no real answer to the recession and is still pulling every lever in the hope that one will work.

    We need new blood, like America has in Barak, to instil enthusiasm back into this country - not to be kept dishing up more of the same. The point was obviously wasted on Brown, when he congratulated Barak in bringing fresh hope and optimism to the USA.

    Brown just does not get it. When will he wake up to the fact that he IS the problem, period. The sooner he gets a visit from the men in grey suits the better; because nothing will change until he goes from office.

  • Comment number 73.

    I understand that Mugabe has been advising Gordon Brown on fiscal stimuli and quantitative easing.

  • Comment number 74.

    post 5 Valdan70 Are you Gordon Brown's dad, or perhaps Sarah Brown or even Crash himself ? You might even be Nick Robinson ! You're obviously completely off your trolley. Put an end to the worst Prime Minister in the history of Britain and the misery of seeing this lapdog with three wagging tails !

  • Comment number 75.

    Obama saved the G20. It's official. I've just heard it on the BBC News.

    He and not Gordon did the deal with Merkel and Sarkozy.

    1 trillion dollars. What's that in pounds? To save the world?

    That's a lot less than the debt Brown has already committed this country to

    What's in it for us? Well I think Brown has some explaining to do as to why he went ahead with printing money before he got agreement that other countries would do the same. He's left the pound even more vulnerable now. Unlike the dollar it's not a reserve currency

    In a few days all this hype will be forgotton and he will have to tell us what his plans are to help this country. More empty words won't do.

  • Comment number 76.

    saga @ 50:

    Actually no! It wasn't just his show. All the world's leaders got together to produce positive promises of action. The proof of the pudding will be in the implementation of some of these measures. As for the bounce you mention Brown's posturing on the world's stage won't be what gives him an outside chance of another bounce. It will come down to the effect on people's jobs and personal financial circumstances. As Adam Boulton of Sky News asked. 'Prime Minister what is there in this communique will give hope to British voters?' The answer was less than encouraging.

  • Comment number 77.

    He's done it.
    What sort of objective commentary is that?
    This whole thing is an electioneering stunt and a fairly shameful one at that. It'll all be forgotten in a couple of weeks.

  • Comment number 78.

    The PREDICTABLE tory negativity to EVERYTHING is infantile and pathetic.........These peddlers of gloom have no ideas how to help in a worldwide recession

  • Comment number 79.

    Duff Gordons new rallying call:

    Merv.....Get the printing presses rolling again!

  • Comment number 80.

    This G20 summit had to be called, whether it was here in London or any other city.

    As events go, it was excellently staged and I think supporters of all political parties can agree with that. For me, the significant part was the shift in power from the Old World to the New World, the former having to grovel for cash from the latter; that's what happens when desperate solutions demand desperate problems (or should 'desperate' read as 'global'; you be the judge).

    As for PO patting the PM, don't read too much into it; that's how I pat my poodle.

    Many bloggers have said it already but I will say it again. Giving the IMF extra funds makes it easier for GB to go and stand in line with Latvia, Estonia, Hungary and Pakistan; no shame there then.

    As the cavalcade departs and leaders disperse to different parts of the globe after what has been a great party, each will have to deal with their own hangover and it will be different for each one.

    Of all the G20 heads of state, Gordon's going to have the biggest headache; some who were sensible in boom times and put some money away won't have a headache at all.

    If this summit has restored Gordon's stature amongst the people of this country, let him test public feeling by calling an election.

    I can see it now. New Labour will use posters and continous party political broadcasts to show GB and PO, GB and AM, GB and NS, GB and KR; they will also run the group photo, both of them. The tragedy of this however is that in each shot, the electorate will ask themselves: 'How come we got stuck with him, the only one who is unelected, when we could have had the other one?'

    Obama, Sarkozy, Merkel, Rudd.....any of them would be better than the clown we've got.

    This summit was a great coming together of countries, no doubt about it, but Gordon (and Nick for that matter) can only claim it is an individual success when the people have spoken, not when they have been forced to swallow New Labour's opinion of itself.

    As for the two million, some would say four millions if the figures were not manipulated, losing your business, your job and your house focuses the mind and when others chant 'it can only get better' they are right but in reality it will get worse before it gets better.

    By the way, these summits should take place every four years; it seems personalities can overcome the political divides.

  • Comment number 81.

    "which adds up to a nice fat sum big enough to appeal to headline writers"

    Well it will if you have anything to do with it won't it Nick? After all who will be reporting the headlines on the News at Ten? Oh that's right, you will be.

    The bottom line of this whole episode is that in the space of three or four weeks we have gone from the Prime Minister claiming this summit would initiate a global grand bargain on gold plated financial regulation and universal commitment for a second fiscal stimulus to a crackdown on tax havens and absolutely no mention of fiscal stimulus.

    Instead of reporting on the humiliating rejection this entails for Brown on the international stage, or the domestic political implications of this verdict, Nick decides to imply that the goal of the summit all along was to give as much money as possible to the IMF and sums up the days events with the sentence: "he's done it."

    Who needs Alistair Campbell?

  • Comment number 82.

    As NR said with his closing remarks on the BBC 6 o'clock News G20 item today people in Britain will judge the success of this expensive get together by asking the question 'What will it mean for me?'. The answer to that particular question is still very much in the air? After this massive injection of funds perhaps we will now be able to run to The IMF when our own economy implodes.

  • Comment number 83.



  • Comment number 84.

    Nick you appear to have a short memory.

    Do you remember what Duff said following the previous G20 meeting in the USA, in November last year?

    By the actions we take, savings are safe, people will be able to keep their jobs, and they will not lose their homes.

    BBC article

    Just looks more of the same old rhetoric but with a 50 billion pound price tag!

    Roll On 2010 - Just over 14 months to go.

  • Comment number 85.

    While Brown has basked in the reflected glory of Barrack Obama these last few days Darling and Timms did a magnificent job today of basking in the perceived glory of Gordon Brown. God preserve us from this vacuous, clueless, self trumpeting Government.

  • Comment number 86.

    Why can't we post comments in response to "Chancellor of the World"?

  • Comment number 87.


    Rarely agree with you on anything but in this particular case you are absolutely correct, I'm not sure exactly when the phrase 'turn me on' came into general use but I'm fairly certain it wasn't as early as the 60's. Could be wrong about that though.

  • Comment number 88.


    Of course what they really meant to say was 'Hes done it. He's only gone and busted The entire World!.

  • Comment number 89.

    64 sportingpunter

    "Not me, I'll be emigrating the minute they try to raise taxes any further."

    The upper limit on National Insurance has just increased from 770 to 844 pounds per week. So if you earn above 43000, then your taxes have just been raised by about 7.44 per week. Not that Gordon will be advertising this increase, as it's a good week to bury bad news.

    Best start packing now!

  • Comment number 90.

    5 valdan70

    Is "valdan70" the name of your planet by any chance?

    Clearly you are not currently on this one.

  • Comment number 91.

    You are getting a 404 error page not found on the Chancellor to the world blog.
    Spanner in the works already, doesn't bode well.

  • Comment number 92.

    #78: You may well be correct that the Tories have no idea how to help in a worldwide recession. But that's a lot less dangerous than our Sub-Prime Minister, who also has no idea how to help, but gets stuck in and does things anyway.

  • Comment number 93.

    "Chancellor of the World"
    "They have been full of praise for the prime minister"
    "That will do Gordon Brown's political standing at home no harm at all."
    "US President Barack Obama showered him in public praise"

    You guys at the BBC really do live on a different planet to everyone else, don't you?

  • Comment number 94.


    Yeah, you keep on counting those chickens Valdan.

    You go and tell those guys in Belfast who Bombadier chucked out today that Gordon's got it licked and that he's saved the world, off the back of half a house sale statistic and the FTSE opening half a lazy eye.

    I'll bring the grapes & barley water for you, you'll be needing them in A&E.

  • Comment number 95.

    16 & Tolpi$$le:

    All he got was a pledge, you fools.

    Like the one he and Blair got to "Make Poverty History".



  • Comment number 96.

    Nick you appear to have a short memory.

    Do you remember what Duff said following the previous G20 meeting in the USA, in November last year?

    By the actions we take, savings are safe, people will be able to keep their jobs, and they will not lose their homes.

    BBC article

    Just looks more of the same old rhetoric but with a 50 billion pound price tag!

  • Comment number 97.

    And now he's "Chancellor of the World".
    The last guy to attempt to become chancellor of the world has a chap called Hitler.

  • Comment number 98.

    Cat is out of the bag on Channel 4 News tonight - Jon Snow interviewed Mandelson, followed by a bigwig from the IMF who said the UK might be one of the countries needing IMF funds. Jon Snow put this to Mandelson who said "we won't be top of the list". So there you have it - even Crash Gordon's Government realises they are spending and borrowing too much and will have to borrow from the IMF (who then impose swinging spending cuts which can be blamed on - you guessed it - the IMF).

  • Comment number 99.

    Oh no I've just read Nick's next post - passs the bucket please.

  • Comment number 100.

    I've just watched the press conference on Sky with Obama.

    All his responses were off the cuff, measured and very well put.

    Gordon, on the other hand, just read from his script.


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