On The Money with Peter Hebert

October 11, 2009

The G-20 Meetings: An Abysmal Failure in Public Relations

Filed under: Legislation and Regulation — Peter Hebert @ 5:43 AM

Making sense of the three G-20 meetings (Washington, London, and Pittsburgh) and the public blow back since the Panic of 2008 is not difficult. Finance ministers and central bankers have repeatedly met to produce a global New Deal as it relates to accounting, capital reserve requirements for financial firms, better regulation, and more. None of this should be seen as controversial or reason for concern. The 27 nations that are part of the G-20 committed $5 trillion as a stimulus to the global economy. It was needed and certainly unpopular, because the financial fiasco was of the banking sector’s making with the enabling of legislation at the expense of all tax payers in the developed world. The International Monetary Fund was empowered to become the global central bank. In reviewing many of the key documents, everything that the finance ministers have proposed makes sense on paper and as theory. What should cause Americans concern is a global basket of currencies as the new reserve currency since that will result in the loss of the dollar’s value, a decline in America’s strength, and a compromise of our sovereignty for many reasons. There are wide spread implications that have not been adequately addressed by the media or government.

What does not make sense about the G-20 meetings is the lack of adequate or meaningful public relations outreach to mitigate street riots here and abroad. These unelected finance ministers and central bankers have concealed themselves behind political leaders, who in turn have been shielded by riot police. In this regard, the G-20 meetings have been an abysmal public relations failure. These meetings reflect paranoia of the first order. The public has an in-built distrust for organized and concentrated power. And, key members of the financial sector appear to believe that it may never again be safe for them to walk on public streets.

The major disconnect between G-20 finance ministers and the general public is rooted in more than just a lack of regular and easy to understand communications. I believe that disconnect is rooted in the third leading cause for pivotal changes in history – stupidity. There are indeed many smart people at the helm of finance and economics. But, high IQs, abstract thinking abilities, and great academic backgrounds guarantee nothing. What is missing among the G-20 finance ministers is people skills and street smarts. At a minimum what has happened is right out of a psychological text book. It is the definition of group think, which is “a mode of decision making marked by deterioration of mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment that results from group pressures.”

There appears to be four major short comings among the G-20 finance ministers as it relates to public dissent, fear, and anger. First, they are too self-absorbed and self-focused, which denies the validity of public comment. Second, they think they know everything when in fact no one knows everything even in their own areas of subject matter expertise. Third, they think they are all powerful and can do anything, when the results on the ground suggest that the public is not going along. And fourth, they think they have super human qualities of intelligence and ability by virtue of their status when everyone knows the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes. When these factors combine, we have something far worse than stupidity. It is called megalomania. This psychological delusion when projected outwards can become socio-pathic and destructive.

A social upheaval in one form or another and of unprecedented proportions is inevitable unless the G-20 finance ministers begin to engage in radical change in its communications and outreach. Consider the Kent State Massacre or the Waco Massacre and fast forward to the year 2012 as the U.S. dollar collapses as a result of the federal government’s unsustainable and unserviceable debt. The unprecedented stimulus measures this government has taken will destroy the value of the American dollar, and that will end in wide spread panic. Perhaps the most appropriate case study is the Weimar Republic, which ended in political extremism as the backlash to a political crisis unleashed by a fiscal crisis ended in monetary collapse. It is for these reasons, I believe, that so many here and abroad protested. I believe that the wisdom of crowds in the end, hopefully, will prevail.

Peter Hébert
Author of Mortgaged and Armed
Coming late-July 2010

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