Peter Hoskin

Does Brown’s G20 statement contain the mother of all Brownies?

Does Brown's G20 statement contain the mother of all Brownies?
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Brown's just delivered his statement to close the G20 summit, and it's all about the big numbers.  That $1 trillion injection into the global economy made an appearance, but it paled beside Brown's claim that "we're in the middle of a fiscal stimulus that is worth about $5 trillion by the end of next year".  Hang on.  Brown was talking about a $2 trillion stimulus only yesterday, so where's the extra $3 trillion coming from? 

I haven't seen details yet, but Brown's rhetoric - "Our central banks have pledged to make expansionary policies as long as they are necessary, and in whatever ways they see fit" - seems too guarded to suggest that the French, Germans and others have been convinced to introduce further stimulus to their economies.  And the expanded time horizon ("end of next year") makes me wonder whether Brown's just summed up a range of existing spending measures and ones already planned for 2010; slapped a nice round number on them; and chucked it in the communiqué for the Wow! factor.  If it makes headlines, then mission accomplished.  But things may look less rosy once we've had chance to sift through the small print.

P.S. Adam Boulton kicked off the questioning with: "What are British voters going to get out of this?"  Brown replied saying that domestic measures may be be made twice as effective by global "cooperation".  Consider me unconvinced.

P.P.S. You can read the full communiqué here.  More from Coffee House soon.