At the Table: Musings from inside the G20 Summit

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As the storm gathers in the Gulf of Mexico and the washing machine effect begins to swell, we are still at least 30 to 45 days from a relief well being functional to cover the gaping hole left by the explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Paradoxically, austere confidence appears to be on the political leaders' menus this Saturday night after the callous optics of lakeside diplomacy.

British Prime Minister David Cameron was the only leader of the G8 courageous enough to actually go for a Deerhurst dunk in the lake, while maternal health took a beating in the name of counter terrorism budgetary profligacy. In Toronto, black clad would-be fence climbers are mingling with torched police cars on Bay Street and the tourism industry shakes it's head in dismay.

The official proclamations of the next 24 hours will be the Fool's Gold of Billion-Dollar Summits, and the credibility of informality will masquerade on the aging faces of the B20 pensioners.

The public projection of the leaders' dialog is lacking in sufficient transparency and intelligent candour, which only serves to further undermine its legitimacy and discredit efforts at capital formation reform urgently needed increases in climate change and public health funding, as well as meaningful demands of job and income growth.

Never discount the power of denialists to delude themselves with ineffective trivialities, half measures and inconsistencies.

For an example of the current policy mindset that seems to be ruling the roost in financial reform circles these days look no further than former Liberal politician John Manley, now president and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.

"While everyone is looking to make sure we stabilize the financial sector... burdensome restrictions on the availability of capital have an impact as well. And, it doesn't make a lot of sense to have governments withdrawing stimulus while regulatory changes are restricting the flow of capital," Manley said.

While Mr. Manley states that he does not see the coherence in upping bank capital requirements when the aim of international public finance policy continues to be meeting its stimulus commitments, perhaps he has lost sight of why he once sought to be prime minister and failed.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has said that Canada is not an island when it comes to the global financial system. Beyond having a firm grasp of the obvious, can he please explain the incongruity of running $50 billion-plus deficits when our banking system and economy are so comparatively strong? And where does he stand on dissolution authority regarding International financial corporations?

Morgan Gabereau is a writer-director based in Toronto, and is a member of's G8-G20 summit coverage team.

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