TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Scott Jagow: We’re doing a series called “What’s the fix?”
The question, obviously, is what are some of the best solutions for getting out of the financial crisis and improving the economy? This weekend, leaders from 20 countries will gather in Washington to discuss possible answers.
I’m joined now by Howard Wheeldon, a strategist for BGC partners in London. It’s a brokerage house. Howard, what’s on the agenda for this G20 meeting?
Howard Wheeldon: Well, the top priorities are to get the countries that have been the global leaders intent on spending their way out, increasing domestic consumption, and of course having sorted the banking and financial market crisis as such in their own views as to where we go from here.
Jagow: Well in terms of spending our way out of it, it seems that here, the focus for individuals is on saving right now — and there doesn’t seem to be any increase in consumer spending on the horizon in the United States. So it seems like it’s all on the government to make it happen.
Wheeldon: Uh, that’s a problem. I’m afraid the savings culture, much that I would welcome it — and not just from consumers, but also from governments, because all this money that we will be borrowing, that you will be borrowing, that we will be borrowing, has to at some point in the future be paid for by higher taxation.
Jagow: And in terms of regulation, you know, world policing doesn’t usually work very well. So how is that going to happen?
Wheeldon: Well we’ve never had it. And so there is the old adage, what you never had, you never miss. We’re talking about global regulation, I think we are 10 years away from global regulation. And again, if I was a skeptic, I would have to turn round and say, well let them talk about it and have their pound of flesh, but quite frankly I don’t see that anything is going to emerge. I think regulation has to be left centric to the individual nations. I think it’s impossible to conceive that we will have a set of global rules that we all work to in under 10 years.
Jagow: Howard Wheeldon from BGC Partners in London. Thanks so much.
Wheeldon: My pleasure.
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