Terrorismo judicial

Que un tribunal haya pasado despectivamente por encima de todos los procedimientos legales, que haya pisoteado hasta el cansancio el derecho a la defensa, que haya desconocido los testimonios de los testigos y que, incluso, la Fiscalía se atreviera a tergiversar la declaración de uno de ellos para así poder condenar a penas crueles e infames a los comisarios de la Policía Metropolitana, sólo nos revela el pantano moral en que está hundida la justicia bolivariana.

De aquella revolución chavista que se atrevió a tratar de limpiar el poder judicial a este mamotreto que tenemos hoy no sólo hay un abismo inmenso, sino una desmoralización total y absoluta.

Ya no es ni Poder ni mucho menos Judicial: es un adefesio integrado por una larga fila de funcionarios arrodillados, como si estuvieran pagando penitencia para que no los alcance algún día la brutalidad militar, con la boina roja en la cabeza para así amordazar las ideas y, de paso, colocarle esposas a la dignidad personal, a la ética y a la práctica jurídica.

Cuando se condena a alguien (como es el caso de los comisarios de la Policía Metropolitana) sin cumplir con los requisitos que manda la ley, en un juicio a todas luces amañado desde sus inicios y tomando ventajas de la indefensión de las víctimas ante lo que públicamente ha deseado el Presidente de la República, entonces podemos hablar de una nueva forma de terrorismo judicial.

Un terrorismo que tiene su base principal en el hecho de que los ciudadanos pueden acudir a los tribunales a dirimir sus conflictos siempre y cuando no afecten la sensible piel del Presidente de la República. En caso contrario, de nada vale tener un buen abogado, cumplir con los requisitos judiciales exigidos o demostrar la inocencia con un alud de pruebas. Está condenado de antemano, a menos que haga una autocrítica pública y, como en la desaparecida Unión Soviética o en la Cuba actual, se reconsidere su caso.

Los venezolanos no somos ni soviéticos ni cubanos: somos, valga la redundancia, demócratas convencidos y militantes persistentes de la vigencia de las libertades. Que se haya condenado "a 17 y 30 años de cárcel a 3 comisarios y 6 policías metropolitanos acusados de asesinato de manifestantes", sólo nos demuestra la capacidad del régimen de engañarse a sí mismo, de manipular los hechos ocurrido el 11 de abril de 2002 y querer darle protección a los verdaderos asesinos. Y eso sí es judicialmente grave.

Lo peor es que el Gobierno y el presidente Chávez ni siquiera tomaron en cuenta los testimonios de los periodistas que estaban en el lugar de los hechos. Mientras los chavistas estaban acurrucados de miedo en Miraflores y sus alrededores, los periodistas se jugaban la vida ante los disparos que se hacían desde el edificio La Nacional, sede alterna de la alcaldía de Libertador. Los muertos cayeron de espaldas (en ángulo norte-sur) en la avenida Baralt, y los disparos no eran precisamente de armas cortas. De eso hay cantidad de fotos para identificar a los asesinos.

(Editorial de El Nacional, Caracas)

Los resultados del G20. Tres comunicados

London Summit – Leaders’ Statement, 2 April 2009

1. We, the Leaders of the Group of Twenty, met in London on 2 April 2009.

2. We face the greatest challenge to the world economy in modern times; a crisis which has deepened since we last met, which affects the lives of women, men, and children in every country, and which all countries must join together to resolve. A global crisis requires a global solution.

3. We start from the belief that prosperity is indivisible; that growth, to be sustained, has to be shared; and that our global plan for recovery must have at its heart the needs and jobs of hard-working families, not just in developed countries but in emerging markets and the poorest countries of the world too; and must reflect the interests, not just of today’s population, but of future generations too. We believe that the only sure foundation for sustainable globalisation and rising prosperity for all is an open world economy based on market principles, effective regulation, and strong global institutions.

4. We have today therefore pledged to do whatever is necessary to:

- restore confidence, growth, and jobs;
- repair the financial system to restore lending;
- strengthen financial regulation to rebuild trust;
- fund and reform our international financial institutions to overcome this
crisis and prevent future ones;
- promote global trade and investment and reject protectionism, to underpin
prosperity; and
- build an inclusive, green, and sustainable recovery.

By acting together to fulfil these pledges we will bring the world economy out of recession and prevent a crisis like this from recurring in the future.

5. The agreements we have reached today, to treble resources available to the IMF to $750 billion, to support a new SDR allocation of $250 billion, to support at least $100 billion of additional lending by the MDBs, to ensure $250 billion of support for trade finance, and to use the additional resources from agreed IMF gold sales for concessional finance for the poorest countries, constitute an additional $1.1 trillion programme of support to restore credit, growth and jobs in the world economy. Together with the measures we have each taken nationally, this constitutes a global plan for recovery on an unprecedented scale.

Restoring growth and jobs

6. We are undertaking an unprecedented and concerted fiscal expansion, which will save or create millions of jobs which would otherwise have been destroyed, and that will, by the end of next year, amount to $5 trillion, raise output by 4 per cent, and accelerate the transition to a green economy. We are committed to deliver the scale of sustained fiscal effort necessary to restore growth.

7. Our central banks have also taken exceptional action. Interest rates have been cut aggressively in most countries, and our central banks have pledged to maintain expansionary policies for as long as needed and to use the full range of monetary policy instruments, including unconventional instruments, consistent with price stability.

8. Our actions to restore growth cannot be effective until we restore domestic lending and international capital flows. We have provided significant and comprehensive support to our banking systems to provide liquidity, recapitalise financial institutions, and address decisively the problem of impaired assets. We are committed to take all necessary actions to restore the normal flow of credit through the financial system and ensure the soundness of systemically important institutions, implementing our policies in line with the agreed G20 framework for restoring lending and repairing the financial sector.

9. Taken together, these actions will constitute the largest fiscal and monetary stimulus and the most comprehensive support programme for the financial sector in modern times. Acting together strengthens the impact and the exceptional policy actions announced so far must be implemented without delay. Today, we have further agreed over $1 trillion of additional resources for the world economy through our international financial institutions and trade finance.

10. Last month the IMF estimated that world growth in real terms would resume and rise to over 2 percent by the end of 2010. We are confident that the actions we have agreed today, and our unshakeable commitment to work together to restore growth and jobs, while preserving long-term fiscal sustainability, will accelerate the return to trend growth. We commit today to taking whatever action is necessary to secure that outcome, and we call on the IMF to assess regularly the actions taken and the global actions required.

11. We are resolved to ensure long-term fiscal sustainability and price stability and will put in place credible exit strategies from the measures that need to be taken now to support the financial sector and restore global demand. We are convinced that by implementing our agreed policies we will limit the longer-term costs to our economies, thereby reducing the scale of the fiscal consolidation necessary over the longer term.

12. We will conduct all our economic policies cooperatively and responsibly with regard to the impact on other countries and will refrain from competitive devaluation of our currencies and promote a stable and well-functioning international monetary system. We will support, now and in the future, to candid, even-handed, and independent IMF surveillance of our economies and financial sectors, of the impact of our policies on others, and of risks facing the global economy.

Strengthening financial supervision and regulation

13. Major failures in the financial sector and in financial regulation and supervision were fundamental causes of the crisis. Confidence will not be restored until we rebuild trust in our financial system. We will take action to build a stronger, more globally consistent, supervisory and regulatory framework for the future financial sector, which will support sustainable global growth and serve the needs of business and citizens.

14. We each agree to ensure our domestic regulatory systems are strong. But we also agree to establish the much greater consistency and systematic cooperation between countries, and the framework of internationally agreed high standards, that a global financial system requires. Strengthened regulation and supervision must promote propriety, integrity and transparency; guard against risk across the financial system; dampen rather than amplify the financial and economic cycle; reduce reliance on inappropriately risky sources of financing; and discourage excessive risk-taking. Regulators and supervisors must protect consumers and investors, support market discipline, avoid adverse impacts on other countries, reduce the scope for regulatory arbitrage, support competition and dynamism, and keep pace with innovation in the marketplace.

15. To this end we are implementing the Action Plan agreed at our last meeting, as set out in the attached progress report. We have today also issued a Declaration, Strengthening the Financial System. In particular we agree:

- to establish a new Financial Stability Board (FSB) with a strengthened mandate, as a successor to the Financial Stability Forum (FSF), including all G20 countries, FSF members, Spain, and the European Commission;

- that the FSB should collaborate with the IMF to provide early warning of macroeconomic and financial risks and the actions needed to address them;

- to reshape our regulatory systems so that our authorities are able to identify and take account of macro-prudential risks;

- to extend regulation and oversight to all systemically important financial institutions, instruments and markets. This will include, for the first time, systemically important hedge funds;

- to endorse and implement the FSF’s tough new principles on pay and compensation and to support sustainable compensation schemes and the corporate social responsibility of all firms;

- to take action, once recovery is assured, to improve the quality, quantity, and international consistency of capital in the banking system. In future, regulation must prevent excessive leverage and require buffers of resources to be built up in good times;

- to take action against non-cooperative jurisdictions, including tax havens. We stand ready to deploy sanctions to protect our public finances and financial systems. The era of banking secrecy is over. We note that the OECD has today published a list of countries assessed by the Global Forum against the international standard for exchange of tax information;

- to call on the accounting standard setters to work urgently with supervisors and regulators to improve standards on valuation and provisioning and achieve a single set of high-quality global accounting standards; and

- to extend regulatory oversight and registration to Credit Rating Agencies to ensure they meet the international code of good practice, particularly to prevent unacceptable conflicts of interest.

16. We instruct our Finance Ministers to complete the implementation of these decisions in line with the timetable set out in the Action Plan. We have asked the FSB and the IMF to monitor progress, working with the Financial Action Taskforce and other relevant bodies, and to provide a report to the next meeting of our Finance Ministers in Scotland in November.

Strengthening our global financial institutions

17. Emerging markets and developing countries, which have been the engine of recent world growth, are also now facing challenges which are adding to the current downturn in the global economy. It is imperative for global confidence and economic recovery that capital continues to flow to them. This will require a substantial strengthening of the international financial institutions, particularly the IMF. We have therefore agreed today to make available an additional $850 billion of resources through the global financial institutions to support growth in emerging market and developing countries by helping to finance counter-cyclical spending, bank recapitalisation, infrastructure, trade finance, balance of payments support, debt rollover, and social support. To this end:

- we have agreed to increase the resources available to the IMF through immediate financing from members of $250 billion, subsequently incorporated into an expanded and more flexible New Arrangements to Borrow, increased by up to $500 billion, and to consider market borrowing if necessary; and

- we support a substantial increase in lending of at least $100 billion by the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), including to low income countries, and ensure that all MDBs, including have the appropriate capital.

18. It is essential that these resources can be used effectively and flexibly to support growth. We welcome in this respect the progress made by the IMF with its new Flexible Credit Line (FCL) and its reformed lending and conditionality framework which will enable the IMF to ensure that its facilities address effectively the underlying causes of countries’ balance of payments financing needs, particularly the withdrawal of external capital flows to the banking and corporate sectors. We support Mexico’s decision to seek an FCL arrangement.

19. We have agreed to support a general SDR allocation which will inject $250 billion into the world economy and increase global liquidity, and urgent ratification of the Fourth Amendment.

20. In order for our financial institutions to help manage the crisis and prevent future crises we must strengthen their longer term relevance, effectiveness and legitimacy. So alongside the significant increase in resources agreed today we are determined to reform and modernise the international financial institutions to ensure they can assist members and shareholders effectively in the new challenges they face. We will reform their mandates, scope and governance to reflect changes in the world economy and the new challenges of globalisation, and that emerging and developing economies, including the poorest, must have greater voice and representation. This must be accompanied by action to increase the credibility and accountability of the institutions through better strategic oversight and decision making. To this end:

- we commit to implementing the package of IMF quota and voice reforms agreed in April 2008 and call on the IMF to complete the next review of quotas by January 2011;

- we agree that, alongside this, consideration should be given to greater involvement of the Fund’s Governors in providing strategic direction to the IMF and increasing its accountability;

- we commit to implementing the World Bank reforms agreed in October 2008. We look forward to further recommendations, at the next meetings, on voice and representation reforms on an accelerated timescale, to be agreed by the 2010 Spring Meetings;

- we agree that the heads and senior leadership of the international financial institutions should be appointed through an open, transparent, and merit-based selection process; and

- building on the current reviews of the IMF and World Bank we asked the Chairman, working with the G20 Finance Ministers, to consult widely in an inclusive process and report back to the next meeting with proposals for further reforms to improve the responsiveness and adaptability of the IFIs.

21. In addition to reforming our international financial institutions for the new challenges of globalisation we agreed on the desirability of a new global consensus on the key values and principles that will promote sustainable economic activity. We support discussion on such a charter for sustainable economic activity with a view to further discussion at our next meeting. We take note of the work started in other fora in this regard and look forward to further discussion of this charter for sustainable economic activity.

Resisting protectionism and promoting global trade and investment

22. World trade growth has underpinned rising prosperity for half a century. But it is now falling for the first time in 25 years. Falling demand is exacerbated by growing protectionist pressures and a withdrawal of trade credit. Reinvigorating world trade and investment is essential for restoring global growth. We will not repeat the historic mistakes of protectionism of previous eras. To this end:

- we reaffirm the commitment made in Washington: to refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing World Trade Organisation (WTO) inconsistent measures to stimulate exports. In addition we will rectify promptly any such measures. We extend this pledge to the end of 2010;

- we will minimise any negative impact on trade and investment of our domestic policy actions including fiscal policy and action in support of the financial sector. We will not retreat into financial protectionism, particularly measures that constrain worldwide capital flows, especially to developing countries;

- we will notify promptly the WTO of any such measures and we call on the WTO, together with other international bodies, within their respective mandates, to monitor and report publicly on our adherence to these undertakings on a quarterly basis;

- we will take, at the same time, whatever steps we can to promote and facilitate trade and investment; and

- we will ensure availability of at least $250 billion over the next two years to support trade finance through our export credit and investment agencies and through the MDBs. We also ask our regulators to make use of available flexibility in capital requirements for trade finance.

23. We remain committed to reaching an ambitious and balanced conclusion to the Doha Development Round, which is urgently needed. This could boost the global economy by at least $150 billion per annum. To achieve this we are committed to building on the progress already made, including with regard to modalities.

24. We will give renewed focus and political attention to this critical issue in the coming period and will use our continuing work and all international meetings that are relevant to drive progress.

Ensuring a fair and sustainable recovery for all

25. We are determined not only to restore growth but to lay the foundation for a fair and sustainable world economy. We recognise that the current crisis has a disproportionate impact on the vulnerable in the poorest countries and recognise our collective responsibility to mitigate the social impact of the crisis to minimise long-lasting damage to global potential. To this end:

- we reaffirm our historic commitment to meeting the Millennium Development Goals and to achieving our respective ODA pledges, including commitments on Aid for Trade, debt relief, and the Gleneagles commitments, especially to sub-Saharan Africa;

- the actions and decisions we have taken today will provide $50 billion to support social protection, boost trade and safeguard development in low income countries, as part of the significant increase in crisis support for these and other developing countries and emerging markets;

- we are making available resources for social protection for the poorest countries, including through investing in long-term food security and through voluntary bilateral contributions to the World Bank’s Vulnerability Framework, including the Infrastructure Crisis Facility, and the Rapid Social Response Fund;

- we have committed, consistent with the new income model, that additional resources from agreed sales of IMF gold will be used, together with surplus income, to provide $6 billion additional concessional and flexible finance for the poorest countries over the next 2 to 3 years. We call on the IMF to come forward with concrete proposals at the Spring Meetings;

- we have agreed to review the flexibility of the Debt Sustainability Framework and call on the IMF and World Bank to report to the IMFC and Development Committee at the Annual Meetings; and

- we call on the UN, working with other global institutions, to establish an effective mechanism to monitor the impact of the crisis on the poorest and most vulnerable.

26. We recognize the human dimension to the crisis. We commit to support those affected by the crisis by creating employment opportunities and through income support measures. We will build a fair and family-friendly labour market for both women and men. We therefore welcome the reports of the London Jobs Conference and the Rome Social Summit and the key principles they proposed. We will support employment by stimulating growth, investing in education and training, and through active labour market policies, focusing on the most vulnerable. We call upon the ILO, working with other relevant organisations, to assess the actions taken and those required for the future.

27. We agreed to make the best possible use of investment funded by fiscal stimulus programmes towards the goal of building a resilient, sustainable, and green recovery. We will make the transition towards clean, innovative, resource efficient, low carbon technologies and infrastructure. We encourage the MDBs to contribute fully to the achievement of this objective. We will identify and work together on further measures to build sustainable economies.

28. We reaffirm our commitment to address the threat of irreversible climate change, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and to reach agreement at the UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Delivering our commitments

29. We have committed ourselves to work together with urgency and determination to translate these words into action. We agreed to meet again before the end of this year to review progress on our commitments.

--------

DECLARATION ON STRENGTHENING THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM –
LONDON, 2 APRIL 2009

We, the Leaders of the G20, have taken, and will continue to take, action to strengthen regulation and supervision in line with the commitments we made in Washington to reform the regulation of the financial sector. Our principles are strengthening transparency and accountability, enhancing sound regulation, promoting integrity in financial markets and reinforcing international cooperation. The material in this declaration expands and provides further detail on the commitments in our statement. We published today a full progress report against each of the 47 actions set out in the Washington Action Plan. In particular, we have agreed the following major reforms.

Financial Stability Board

We have agreed that the Financial Stability Forum should be expanded, given a broadened mandate to promote financial stability, and re-established with a stronger institutional basis and enhanced capacity as the Financial Stability Board (FSB).

The FSB will:
• assess vulnerabilities affecting the financial system, identify and oversee action needed to address them;
• promote co-ordination and information exchange among authorities responsible for financial stability;
• monitor and advise on market developments and their implications for regulatory policy;
• advise on and monitor best practice in meeting regulatory standards;
• undertake joint strategic reviews of the policy development work of the international Standard Setting Bodies to ensure their work is timely, coordinated, focused on priorities, and addressing gaps;
• set guidelines for, and support the establishment, functioning of, and participation in, supervisory colleges, including through ongoing identification of the most systemically important cross-border firms;
• support contingency planning for cross-border crisis management, particularly with respect to systemically important firms; and
• collaborate with the IMF to conduct Early Warning Exercises to identify and report to the IMFC and the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on the build up of macroeconomic and financial risks and the actions needed to address them.

Members of the FSB commit to pursue the maintenance of financial stability, enhance the openness and transparency of the financial sector, and implement international financial standards (including the 12 key International Standards and Codes), and agree to undergo periodic peer reviews, using among other evidence IMF / World Bank public Financial Sector Assessment Program reports. The FSB will elaborate and report on these commitments and the evaluation process.

We welcome the FSB’s and IMF’s commitment to intensify their collaboration, each complementing the other’s role and mandate.

International cooperation

• To strengthen international cooperation we have agreed:
to establish the remaining supervisory colleges for significant cross-border firms by June 2009, building on the 28 already in place;
• to implement the FSF principles for cross-border crisis management immediately, and that home authorities of each major international financial institution should ensure that the group of authorities with a common interest in that financial institution meet at least annually;
• to support continued efforts by the IMF, FSB, World Bank, and BCBS to develop an international framework for cross-border bank resolution arrangements; the importance of further work and international cooperation on the subject of exit strategies; that the IMF and FSB should together launch an Early Warning Exercise at the 2009 Spring Meetings.

Prudential regulation

We have agreed to strengthen international frameworks for prudential regulation: until recovery is assured the international standard for the minimum level of capital should remained unchanged; where appropriate, capital buffers above the required minima should be allowed to decline to facilitate lending in deteriorating economic conditions; once recovery is assured, prudential regulatory standards should be strengthened.

Buffers above regulatory minima should be increased and the quality of capital should be enhanced. Guidelines for harmonisation of the definition of capital should be produced by end 2009. The BCBS should review minimum levels of capital and develop recommendations in 2010; the FSB, BCBS, and CGFS, working with accounting standard setters, should take forward, with a deadline of end 2009, implementation of the recommendations published today to mitigate procyclicality, including a requirement for banks to build buffers of resources in good times that they can draw down when conditions deteriorate; risk-based capital requirements should be supplemented with a simple, transparent, non-risk based measure which is internationally comparable, properly takes into account off-balance sheet exposures, and can help contain the build-up of leverage in the banking system; the BCBS and authorities should take forward work on improving incentives for risk management of securitisation, including considering due diligence and quantitative retention requirements, by 2010; all G20 countries should progressively adopt the Basel II capital framework; and the BCBS and national authorities should develop and agree by 2010 a global framework for promoting stronger liquidity buffers at financial institutions, including cross-border institutions.

The scope of regulation

We have agreed that all systemically important financial institutions, markets, and instruments should be subject to an appropriate degree of regulation and oversight. In particular: we will amend our regulatory systems to ensure authorities are able to identify and take account of macro-prudential risks across the financial system including in the case of regulated banks, shadow banks, and private pools of capital to limit the build up of systemic risk. We call on the FSB to work with the BIS and international standard setters to develop macro-prudential tools and provide a report by autumn 2009; large and complex financial institutions require particularly careful oversight given their systemic importance; we will ensure that our national regulators possess the powers for gathering relevant information on all material financial institutions, markets, and instruments in order to assess the potential for their failure or severe stress to contribute to systemic risk. This will be done in close coordination at international level in order to achieve as much consistency as possible across jurisdictions; in order to prevent regulatory arbitrage, the IMF and the FSB will produce guidelines for national authorities to assess whether a financial institution, market, or an instrument is systemically important by the next meeting of our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. These guidelines should focus on what institutions do rather than their legal form; hedge funds or their managers will be registered and will be required to disclose appropriate information on an ongoing basis to supervisors or regulators, including on their leverage, necessary for assessment of the systemic risks that they pose individually or collectively. Where appropriate, registration should be subject to a minimum size. They will be subject to oversight to ensure that they have adequate risk management. We ask the FSB to develop mechanisms for cooperation and information sharing between relevant authorities in order to ensure that effective oversight is maintained where a fund is located in a different jurisdiction from the manager. We will, cooperating through the FSB, develop measures that implement these principles by the end of 2009. We call on the FSB to report to the next meeting of our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors; supervisors should require that institutions which have hedge funds as their counterparties have effective risk management. This should include mechanisms to monitor the funds’ leverage and set limits for single counterparty exposures; we will promote the standardisation and resilience of credit derivatives markets, in particular through the establishment of central clearing counterparties subject to effective regulation and supervision. We call on the industry to develop an action plan on standardisation by autumn 2009; and we will each review and adapt the boundaries of the regulatory framework regularly to keep pace with developments in the financial system and promote good practices and consistent approaches at the international level.

Compensation

We have endorsed the principles on pay and compensation in significant financial institutions developed by the FSF to ensure compensation structures are consistent with firms’ long-term goals and prudent risk taking. We have agreed that our national supervisors should ensure significant progress in the implementation of these principles by the 2009 remuneration round. The BCBS should integrate these principles into their risk management guidance by autumn 2009. The principles, which have today been published, require: firms' boards of directors to play an active role in the design, operation, and evaluation of compensation schemes; compensation arrangements, including bonuses, to properly reflect risk and the timing and composition of payments to be sensitive to the time horizon of risks.

Payments should not be finalized over short periods where risks are realized over long periods; and firms to publicly disclose clear, comprehensive, and timely information about compensation. Stakeholders, including shareholders, should be adequately informed on a timely basis on compensation policies to exercise effective monitoring.

Supervisors will assess firms’ compensation policies as part of their overall assessment of their soundness. Where necessary they will intervene with responses that can include increased capital requirements.

Tax havens and non-cooperative jurisdictions

It is essential to protect public finances and international standards against the risks posed by non-cooperative jurisdictions. We call on all jurisdictions to adhere to the international standards in the prudential, tax, and AML/CFT areas. To this end, we call on the appropriate bodies to conduct and strengthen objective peer reviews, based on existing processes, including through the FSAP process.

We call on countries to adopt the international standard for information exchange endorsed by the G20 in 2004 and reflected in the UN Model Tax Convention. We note that the OECD has today published a list of countries assessed by the Global Forum against the international standard for exchange of information. We welcome the new commitments made by a number of jurisdictions and encourage them to proceed swiftly with implementation.

We stand ready to take agreed action against those jurisdictions which do not meet international standards in relation to tax transparency. To this end we have agreed to develop a toolbox of effective counter measures for countries to consider, such as:

• increased disclosure requirements on the part of taxpayers and financial institutions to report transactions involving non-cooperative jurisdictions;
• withholding taxes in respect of a wide variety of payments;
• denying deductions in respect of expense payments to payees resident in a non- cooperative jurisdiction;
• reviewing tax treaty policy;
• asking international institutions and regional development banks to review their investment policies; and,
• giving extra weight to the principles of tax transparency and information exchange when designing bilateral aid programs.

We also agreed that consideration should be given to further options relating to financial relations with these jurisdictions.

We are committed to developing proposals, by end 2009, to make it easier for developing countries to secure the benefits of a new cooperative tax environment.

We are also committed to strengthened adherence to international prudential regulatory and supervisory standards. The IMF and the FSB in cooperation with international standard-setters will provide an assessment of implementation by relevant jurisdictions, building on existing FSAPs where they exist. We call on the FSB to develop a toolbox of measures to promote adherence to prudential standards and cooperation with jurisdictions.

We agreed that the FATF should revise and reinvigorate the review process for assessing compliance by jurisdictions with AML/CFT standards, using agreed evaluation reports where available.

We call upon the FSB and the FATF to report to the next G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting on adoption and implementation by countries.

Accounting standards

We have agreed that the accounting standard setters should improve standards for the valuation of financial instruments based on their liquidity and investors’ holding horizons, while reaffirming the framework of fair value accounting.

We also welcome the FSF recommendations on procyclicality that address accounting issues. We have agreed that accounting standard setters should take action by the end of 2009 to:
• reduce the complexity of accounting standards for financial instruments;
• strengthen accounting recognition of loan-loss provisions by incorporating a broader range of credit information;
• improve accounting standards for provisioning, off-balance sheet exposures and valuation uncertainty;
• achieve clarity and consistency in the application of valuation standards internationally, working with supervisors;
• make significant progress towards a single set of high quality global accounting standards; and,
• within the framework of the independent accounting standard setting process, improve involvement of stakeholders, including prudential regulators and emerging markets, through the IASB’s constitutional review.

Credit Rating Agencies

We have agreed on more effective oversight of the activities of Credit Rating Agencies, as they are essential market participants. In particular, we have agreed that:
• all Credit Rating Agencies whose ratings are used for regulatory purposes should be subject to a regulatory oversight regime that includes registration. The regulatory oversight regime should be established by end 2009 and should be consistent with the IOSCO Code of Conduct Fundamentals. IOSCO should coordinate full compliance;

• national authorities will enforce compliance and require changes to a rating agency’s practices and procedures for managing conflicts of interest and assuring the transparency and quality of the rating process. In particular, Credit Rating Agencies should differentiate ratings for structured products and provide full disclosure of their ratings track record and the information and assumptions that underpin the ratings process. The oversight framework should be consistent across jurisdictions with appropriate sharing of information between national authorities, including through IOSCO; and,
• the Basel Committee should take forward its review on the role of external ratings in prudential regulation and determine whether there are any adverse incentives that need to be addressed.

Next Steps

We instruct our Finance Ministers to complete the implementation of these decisions and the attached action plan. We have asked the FSB and the IMF to monitor progress, working with the FATF and the Global Forum, and to provide a report to the next meeting of our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.

----------

DECLARATION ON DELIVERING RESOURCES THROUGH THE
INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS – LONDON, 2 APRIL 2009

We, the leaders of the Group of Twenty, are committed to ensuring that capital continues to flow to emerging market and developing countries to protect their economies and support world growth. To this end, we have agreed to increase very substantially the resources available through the international financial institutions and to ensure that the institutions have the facilities needed to address the crisis in a coordinated and comprehensive manner.

We have agreed to make available an additional $850 billion of resources through the IMF and the multilateral development banks to support growth in emerging market and developing countries by helping to finance counter-cyclical spending, bank recapitalisation, infrastructure, trade finance, balance of payments support, debt rollover, and social support.

For the IMF, we have agreed to support:
• as an immediate measure, bilateral financing from members of $250 billion;
• in the near term, incorporate the immediate financing from members into an expanded and more flexible New Arrangements to Borrow, which will include other G20 countries, and be increased by up to $500 billion. We aim to make substantial progress by the Spring meetings;
• consideration of market borrowing by the IMF to be used if necessary in conjunction with other sources of financing, to raise resources to the level needed to meet demands; and,
• a doubling of the IMF’s concessional lending capacity for low income countries and a doubling of access limits, within the Debt Sustainability Framework (DSF). We have committed, consistent with the new income model, that additional resources from agreed sales of IMF gold will be used, together with surplus income, to provide $6 billion additional concessional and flexible finance for the poorest countries over the next two to three years.

We call on the IMF to come forward with concrete proposals at the Spring Meetings.

In addition to these steps, we have also agreed to support a general allocation of SDRs equivalent to $250 billion to increase global liquidity, $100 billion of which will go directly to emerging market and developing countries. We agreed to ratify urgently the fourth amendment to the IMF’s articles.

We agreed to accelerate the next quota review to be completed by January 2011 to ensure the IMF’s finances are on a sustainable footing commensurate with the needs of the international monetary system.

For the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), we have agreed to support:
• a substantial increase in lending of $100 billion including to low income countries, to a total of around $300 billion over the next three years;
• full and exceptional use of MDB balance sheets, to create further capacity for lending to meet crisis needs;
• a 200 per cent general capital increase at the Asian Development Bank and reviews of the need for capital increases at the Inter-American Development Bank, the African Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development;
• actions by the MDBs to leverage private capital more effectively, including through the use of guarantees, bond insurance and bridging finance; and
• the new IFC Global Trade Liquidity Pool which should provide up to $50 billion of trade liquidity support over the next three years, with significant co-financing from the private sector (as part of the global effort to ensure the availability of at least $250 billion of trade finance over the next two years). In order to reach this objective, we agreed to provide $3-4 billion in voluntary bilateral contributions to the IFC Pool. We also welcomed the steps taken by other MDBs to increase support for trade finance, and medium and long-term project finance through our export credit and investment agencies.

We have also agreed to ensure that the international financial institutions have the facilities they need to address the current crisis and meet the needs of emerging markets and developing countries. To this end:
• we welcome the IMF’s new Flexible Credit Line (FCL), for eligible countries, as part of its reformed and more flexible lending and conditionality framework. This will help to address stigma concerns while safeguarding IMF resources. We look forward to rapid take-up of the FCL and support Mexico’s decision to seek an FCL arrangement;
• the IMF should take steps to ensure that its surveillance and lending facilities address effectively the underlying causes of countries’ balance of payments financing needs, particularly the withdrawal of external capital flows to the banking and corporate sectors;
• we will support, through voluntary bilateral contributions, the World Bank Vulnerability Framework, including the Infrastructure Crisis Facility and the Rapid Social Response Fund;
• individual country limits on World Bank lending should be increased, as appropriate, to enable large countries to access required levels of finance and so support stability and recovery in their regions;
• low income IDA countries with sustainable debt positions and sound policies should be given temporary access to non-concessional IBRD lending to compensate for the loss of access to capital markets, and IDA resources should be frontloaded, using the existing flexibility in the DSF.

We agreed that these resources and facilities should enhance the capacity of the international financial institutions to address the crisis. Cooperation and coordination between the IFIs should be strengthened to increase their effectiveness. Emerging and developing economies, including the poorest, should have greater voice and representation.

(Fuente: Pagina G20.org)

Greed and Stupidity

What happened to the global economy? We seemed to be chugging along, enjoying moderate business cycles and unprecedented global growth. All of a sudden, all hell broke loose.

There are many theories about what happened, but two general narratives seem to be gaining prominence, which we will call the greed narrative and the stupidity narrative. The two overlap, but they lead to different ways of thinking about where we go from here.

The best single encapsulation of the greed narrative is an essay called “The Quiet Coup,” by Simon Johnson in The Atlantic (available online now).

Johnson begins with a trend. Between 1973 and 1985, the U.S. financial sector accounted for about 16 percent of domestic corporate profits. In the 1990s, it ranged from 21 percent to 30 percent. This decade, it soared to 41 percent.

In other words, Wall Street got huge. As it got huge, its prestige grew. Its compensation packages grew. Its political power grew as well. Wall Street and Washington merged as a flow of investment bankers went down to the White House and the Treasury Department.

The result was a string of legislation designed to further enhance the freedom and power of finance. Regulations separating commercial and investment banking were repealed. There were major increases in the amount of leverage allowed to investment banks.

The U.S. economy got finance-heavy and finance-mad, and finally collapsed. When it did, the elites did what all elites do. They took care of their own: “Money was used to recapitalize banks, buying shares in them on terms that were grossly favorable to the banks themselves,” Johnson writes.

In short, he argues, the U.S. financial crisis is a bigger version of the crises that have afflicted emerging-market nations for decades. An oligarchy takes control of the nation. The oligarchs get carried away and build an empire on mountains of debt. The whole thing comes crashing down. Johnson’s remedy is clear. Smash the oligarchy. Nationalize the banks. Sell them off in medium-size pieces. Revise antitrust laws so they can’t get back together. Find ways to limit executive compensation. Permanently reduce the size and power of Wall Street.

The second and, to me, more persuasive theory revolves around ignorance and uncertainty. The primary problem is not the greed of a giant oligarchy. It’s that overconfident bankers didn’t know what they were doing. They thought they had these sophisticated tools to reduce risk. But when big events — like the rise of China — fundamentally altered the world economy, their tools were worse than useless.

Many writers have described elements of this intellectual hubris. Amar Bhidé has described the fallacy of diversification. Bankers thought that if they bundled slices of many assets into giant packages then they didn’t have to perform due diligence on each one. In Wired, Felix Salmon described the false lure of the Gaussian copula function, the formula that gave finance whizzes the illusion that they could accurately calculate risks. Benoit Mandelbrot and Nassim Taleb have explained why extreme events are much more likely to disrupt financial markets than most bankers understood.

To me, the most interesting factor is the way instant communications lead to unconscious conformity. You’d think that with thousands of ideas flowing at light speed around the world, you’d get a diversity of viewpoints and expectations that would balance one another out. Instead, global communications seem to have led people in the financial subculture to adopt homogenous viewpoints. They made the same one-way bets at the same time.

Jerry Z. Muller wrote an indispensable version of the stupidity narrative in an essay called “Our Epistemological Depression” in The American magazine. What’s new about this crisis, he writes, is the central role of “opacity and pseudo-objectivity.” Banks got too big to manage. Instruments got too complex to understand. Too many people were good at math but ignorant of history.

The greed narrative leads to the conclusion that government should aggressively restructure the financial sector. The stupidity narrative is suspicious of that sort of radicalism. We’d just be trading the hubris of Wall Street for the hubris of Washington. The stupidity narrative suggests we should preserve the essential market structures, but make them more transparent, straightforward and comprehensible. Instead of rushing off to nationalize the banks, we should nurture and recapitalize what’s left of functioning markets.

Both schools agree on one thing, however. Both believe that banks are too big. Both narratives suggest we should return to the day when banks were focused institutions — when savings banks, insurance companies, brokerages and investment banks lived separate lives.

We can agree on that reform. Still, one has to choose a guiding theory. To my mind, we didn’t get into this crisis because inbred oligarchs grabbed power. We got into it because arrogant traders around the world were playing a high-stakes game they didn’t understand.

(The New York Times)

Camaron que se duerme, se despierta en el coctel

Está muy bien que ARENA se haya metido a una evaluación profunda de su dirección, su estrategia y su funcionamiento interno. Seguramente el futuro partido opositor saldrá renovado y fortalecido de este proceso.

El problema es: ¿Quién dirige al partido mientras tanto? ¿Quién, con qué autoridad y con qué criterio se hace cargo de las negociaciones políticas con el FMLN, con el presidente electo, con los demás partidos?

Es obvio que el presidente saliente tiene que estar al cargo del traspaso del ejecutivo a la nueva administración. Y todo parece que lo está haciendo muy bien.

Pero sería fatal que simplemente por el vacío de liderazgo y de definición estratégica de ARENA, también quedaran al cargo del presidente Saca y su equipo las negociaciones para definir el futuro de las instituciones. Están pendientes decisiones de carácter estratégico como la elección de cinco magistrados de la Corte Suprema, la conformación de la Sala Constitucional y el nombramiento del presidente de la Corte. Está pendiente la elección del fiscal general, del procurador general y de los magistrados del Tribunal Electoral. Está pendiente la decisión si en qué forma impulsar en esta legislatura de la enmienda constitucional para reformar el Tribunal Electoral. Y está pendiente la dirección del Órgano Legislativo...

Todas estas son decisiones que van a definir el rumbo del desarrollo institucional, del balance de poderes constitucionales y la correlación entre las fuerzas partidarias. Son demasiado importantes para considerarlas problemas colaterales del traspaso de mando pactado entre dos equipos presidenciales.

En esta situación, ARENA no se puede dar el lujo de paralizarse y dejar todas estas decisiones y negociaciones al presidente saliente. El presidente saliente y su equipo tienen que concentrarse en el traspaso del ejecutivo, tienen que hacer todo lo posible para salir bien de este traspaso, con transparencia, con responsabilidad.

Pero las decisiones sobre el futuro del sistema electoral y del sistema de justicia tienen que tomarse desde otra perspectiva. Allí no puede prevalecer el criterio de salir bien de la gestión anterior, sino el criterio de construir lo mejor para el futuro. Para esto, hace falta un fuerte liderazgo de ARENA, independiente de los intereses inmediatos del equipo de gobierno saliente.

Si los partidos que van a conformar la oposición no tienen mucho cuidado y excelente capacidad de negociar, en estos meses de transición pueden darse cambios en el balance de los poderes del Estado y en la correlación de fuerzas partidarias dentro de esos poderes que van a definir el rumbo de las instituciones por años. Si ARENA no asume su responsabilidad, el FMLN sin ninguna duda llenaría el vacío, aprovechando la el impulso del ‘cambio’, para aumentar su influencia y control en las instituciones. Camarón que se duerme, se despierta en el coctel.

Tampoco conviene a ARENA interrumpir su proceso de evaluación y construcción de nuevas estrategias y liderazgos, sólo para responder a las exigencias de este momento. Es importante que el proceso interno tenga tiempo suficiente para llevar a resultados positivos y una verdadera renovación.

Entonces, mientras siga el proceso de evaluación y renovación, ARENA tiene que instalar una dirección transitoria que de manera inmediata, decidida e independiente del gobierno saliente tome el control de la bancada parlamentaria (la actual y la entrante) y de todas las negociaciones con los demás partidos, sobre todo con el FMLN, sobre el futuro de Fiscalía, Corte, Procuraduría, Tribunal Electoral, Directiva de la Asamblea.

Ya es suficiente preocupante que todas estas cosas tienden a convertirse en combos o paquetazos, donde hay algo para cada partido. Lo que sí sería totalmente inaceptable es que todas estas decisiones se metan en un sólo paquetazo de traspaso de mando pactado entre los dos equipos presidenciales.


(El Diario de Hoy, Observador)

Government Stimulus Plans are 'Not Enough'

SPIEGEL: Many people are comparing the financial crisis to the Great Depression. Will it really be that bad?

It's going to be bad, very bad. We're experiencing the worst downturn since the Great Depression, and we haven't reached the bottom yet. I'm very pessimistic. Governments are indeed reacting better today than during the global economic crisis. They're lowering interest rates and boosting the economy with economic stimulus plans. This is the right direction, but it's not enough.

SPIEGEL: The American government has committed over a trillion dollars to save the banks and $789 billion to boost the economy. Do you think this is too little?

Stiglitz: I do. More than $700 billion sounds like a lot, but it's not. On the one hand, a large part of the money will first be given out next year, which is too late. On the other, a third of it is drained away by tax cuts. They don't really stimulate consumption, because people will save the majority of that money. I fear that the effect of the American economic stimulus plan won't be even half as big as expected.

SPIEGEL: At least governments worldwide are bracing themselves against the recession, as opposed to the global economic crisis where they accelerated the recession through their savings policy.

Stiglitz: That's right. That's why I'm confident we'll get off lighter than during the Great Depression. On the other hand, there's a series of developments that make me very anxious. The state of our financial system, for example, is worse than it was 80 years ago.

SPIEGEL: Hundreds of banks collapsed in the US at that time. Today most of them are being saved by the government. What's so bad about that?

Stiglitz: The banks that survived 80 years ago continued to lend money. Today many banks aren't lending money anymore, above all the large investment banks. This will deepen the crisis.

SPIEGEL: The US government's emergency plan is supposed to prevent this, though. The banks receive money from the state so they can continue to give loans.

Stiglitz: That's the idea, but it doesn't work. We're just throwing money at them and they pay billions of it out in bonuses and dividends. We taxpayers are being robbed for all intents and purposes in order to reduce the losses that some wealthy people bear. This has to be changed.

SPIEGEL: What do you suggest?

Stiglitz: We have to reorganize our bailout system for the financial sector. For one thing, any bank that actually lends should get money from the government; more money to small and medium-sized banks in smaller towns and less to Wall Street institutions. The government must also accept the consequences when banks become insolvent ...

SPIEGEL: … and let them go bankrupt?

Stiglitz: No, they have to be saved, because the consequences to the monetary system would be incalculable. But as a countermeasure, these institutions have to be nationalized, which even Alan Greenspan is now demanding. Then the government can close those business segments that have nothing to do with lending and make sure that the banks no longer organize esoteric stock deals that they themselves do not understand.

SPIEGEL: Today the world is much more intertwined than in the 1920s or 1930s. Does this make the fight against the economic crisis easier?

Stiglitz: On the contrary, it's going to be more difficult. When a country introduces an economic stimulus plan, a large part of the stimulus goes abroad. For instance, a US company receiving a road construction order from the state buys equipment from Germany, concrete from Mexico and engineering services from Great Britain. The incentive to profit from the economic situation of one's neighbor is correspondingly great, while doing as little as you yourself can do. There is only one solution for this: economic stabilization policy has to be coordinated internationally in order to diminish the already dangerous global imbalances.

SPIEGEL: What do you mean by that?

Stiglitz: For years the US was the economic powerhouse of the world. It imported more goods from abroad than it exported, to the joy of manufacturers in Asia or Europe. But this model no longer works. The Americans are completely over-indebted. They can't increase their consumption, instead they have to save. This is why other global growth has to be increased.

SPIEGEL: Washington sees it that way, too. In particular, it wants countries with strong exports, like Germany, to offer further economic stimulus packages. Do you think that's justified?

Stiglitz: Absolutely. Export surpluses are counterproductive in times of economic crisis. They have to be reduced through economic stimulus programs, for example. Economist John Maynard Keynes was even of the opinion that surplus countries should be taxed during times of economic crisis.

SPIEGEL: ... Which might not go over so well.

Stiglitz: That's why we wouldn't go that far. I propose that countries with a positive trade balance should stream part of their surplus to the International Monetary Fund. This can then stimulate the economy in developing countries or prevent the economy from collapsing in Eastern Europe.

SPIEGEL: The global economic crisis following 1929 only really began when governments sealed off their respective countries from international trade. Is there still a danger of this?

Stiglitz: I think it's unlikely that countries will again enter into open protectionism. What I do fear is indirect insulation measures like financial aid or subsidies. The consequences wouldn't be less serious. There is the threat of secret commercial obstacles that could similarly greatly restrain global exchange, like tariff increases.

SPIEGEL: The leaders of the 20 largest industrial nations are meeting in London this week to discuss the regulation of financial markets. Will the meeting be successful?

Stiglitz: I'm skeptical. The American government does talk a lot about stricter regulation of financial markets. I doubt that it's serious, though. The Americans have always been masters at changing a supposed regulation measure into further deregulation.

SPIEGEL: Do you expect this of the new Obama administration as well?

Germany 'Could Be a Model for the US'

Stiglitz: Obama himself has made clear in many speeches that he wants to prevent prospecting in the American financial industry. But Obama is under pressure from Wall Street. Even within his own administration, there are a lot of officials who are only for cosmetic corrections.

SPIEGEL: The US is against too much regulation in the financial markets, Germany and Japan would prefer no further economic stimulus packages. Can much come out of the G20 summit?

Stiglitz: The governments will find the words to put a positive spin on the conference. If they can do anything, they can do that. Everyone will say that more regulation is necessary and that balance is needed between national sovereignty and common action in a globalized world. But how much substance will lie behind their words? I'm skeptical.

SPIEGEL: The economic crisis has severely damaged the economic model of finance-driven turbo-capitalism. Will this lead to a renaissance in the state economy?

Stiglitz: I don't think so. The fall of the Berlin Wall really was a strong message that communism does not work as an economic system. The collapse of Lehmann Brothers on September 15th again showed that unbridled capitalism doesn't work either.

SPIEGEL: Could authoritarian systems like in China be the future?

Stiglitz: Besides the two extremes of communism and capitalism, there are alternatives, such as Scandinavia or Germany. The Chinese model has succeeded very well for their people, but at the price of democratic rights. The German social model, however, has worked very well. It could also be a model for the US administration.

SPIEGEL: The crisis began in America, spread to other industrialized nations and now threatens the emerging and developing countries. Is the target of the community of states to halve global poverty by 2015 still achievable?

Stiglitz: Because we don't know how long this crisis will last, it will become more difficult to keep to this promise. I'm also pessimistic, for example, now that the USA is discussing whether we can still afford development aid during the crisis. But there are countries like Japan and Germany that have raised their contributions to the IMF and World Bank to help the Third World.

SPIEGEL: Will Africa be the big loser in the crisis?

Stiglitz: I'm fearful of that, because even the high growth of 6 percent in Africa in the last few years hasn't been enough to permanently fight poverty. A lot of the countries on the continent which inherited a low standard of education, and no infrastructure from colonialism, have solely focused on increasing commodity prices. That was a risky strategy. The IMF's structural development policies also contributed to deindustrialization. We haven't managed to create a stable foundation for the African economies.

SPIEGEL: World Bank president Robert Zoellick has said that the industrialized nations should direct 0.7 percent of their stimulus packages to the developing countries.

Stiglitz: That's too little. Take the US example. Each country would receive around $5.5 billion per year from $789 billion. It's a lot more than nothing, but only a drop when compared to what the countries require, namely up to $700 billion in this year alone.

SPIEGEL: The opposition in Germany is already complaining about government stimulus funding for infrastructure in developing countries.

Stiglitz: All the more reason for governments to persuade their people that it is in our own interest that all national economies grow. If banks in Eastern Europe collapse, it weakens Western European banks and then American financial institutions. If we are to learn one thing from the economic crisis, it's this: Globalization can't be stopped. It has to be managed or else the global economy won't work.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Stiglitz, thank you for this interview.

(Spiegel-Online. Interview conducted by Michael Sauga.)

Objetivo del G-20: impulsar el crecimiento

El próximo jueves se reunirán en Londres, por segunda vez en tan sólo cinco meses, los dirigentes de las 20 primeras economías del mundo para tratar de aportar una respuesta conjunta a la crisis económica sin precedentes que estamos atravesando.

Desde el principio de esta crisis he defendido la idea de que, ante tamaño desafío, la cooperación no es una opción, sino una necesidad. Desde el mes de septiembre de 2008, ante la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas, he estado pidiendo al mundo que se una para aportar a la crisis una respuesta coordinada y concertada. El pasado mes de noviembre, esta iniciativa, impulsada por el conjunto de los europeos, desembocó en una reunión del G-20 en Washington, en la que se sentaron las bases de una ambiciosa reforma del sistema financiero internacional. La cumbre de Londres debe permitirnos ahora ir más allá y aportar una traducción concreta a los principios establecidos en Washington.

Lo que el mundo espera de nosotros es que aceleremos la reforma del sistema financiero internacional. Lo que el mundo espera de nosotros es que reconstruyamos juntos un capitalismo renovado, mejor reglamentado, más ético y más solidario. Condición previa para una reactivación y un crecimiento sostenibles.

Pues esta crisis no es la del capitalismo. Es, al contrario, la crisis de un sistema que se aleja de los valores más fundamentales del capitalismo. Es la crisis de un sistema que ha empujado a los actores financieros a exponerse a riesgos cada vez más inconsiderados, que ha permitido que bancos especularan en vez de hacer lo que les corresponde, que es financiar el desarrollo de la economía; y, por último, es la crisis de un sistema que ha tolerado que tantos actores y que tantas plazas financieras escaparan a todo control.

En la cumbre de Washington de noviembre, nos pusimos de acuerdo sobre los cuatro principios que debían orientar nuestra acción frente a la crisis: la necesidad de una reactivación coordinada y concertada, el rechazo del proteccionismo, una mejor regulación de los mercados financieros y una nueva forma de gobierno mundial.

¿Cuál es la situación actual? Respecto a los dos primeros puntos, ya hemos avanzado mucho. Hemos sabido resistir a los demonios del proteccionismo, pues la historia nos ha enseñado que éste no hace más que agravar las dificultades. Asimismo, todos los países han apoyado masivamente sus economías, adoptando ambiciosos planes de estímulo, a los que se han unido, en aquellos países que como Francia ofrecen a sus ciudadanos un alto nivel de protección social, un importante aumento de los gastos sociales vinculados con la crisis. Si tenemos en cuenta las medidas deapoyo en su conjunto, podemos concluir que las principales economías del mundo han desplegado esfuerzos comparables y gigantescos para encarar la crisis. Dichas medidas empiezan apenas a desplegarse y a surtir efecto, pero debemos estar preparados para ir todavía más lejos si las circunstancias lo exigieran.

Hacer todo lo posible a favor del crecimiento mundial; éste es el principio que defenderé en Londres.

Pero esta semana deberemos sacar adelante, con el mismo sentido de la prioridad y de la urgencia, la cuestión de la regulación de los mercados financieros. Porque el crecimiento mundial será tanto más fuerte cuanto que se verá respaldado por un sistema financiero estable y eficaz, por un retorno de la confianza en los mercados que permitirá asignar mejor los recursos, reactivar el crédito e impulsar los flujos de capital privado de los países industrializados hacia los países en desarrollo.

La cumbre de Washington permitió definir varios principios esenciales en materia de regulación que deben ahora ponerse en práctica de manera concreta. Decidimos entonces que a partir de ahora ningún actor, ninguna institución, ningún producto financiero podría volver a escapar al control de una autoridad reguladora. Esta regla deberá aplicarse a las agencias de calificación, pero también a los fondos especulativos y, por supuesto, a los paraísos fiscales.

Respecto a este último punto, desearía que fuéramos muy lejos y que adoptáramos un documento que identifique exactamente esos paraísos fiscales, los cambios que esperamos de ellos y las consecuencias que conllevaría un rechazo por su parte. Celebro que el debate sobre los paraísos fiscales, lanzado en la cumbre de Washington, haya empezado a dar sus frutos, en particular en Europa, donde varios países han anunciado recientemente que iban a adaptar su legislación a fin de satisfacer las expectativas de la comunidad internacional.

Desearía asimismo que avanzara nuestra reflexión colectiva sobre la necesaria reforma de las normas contables y reglas cautelares que rigen los establecimientos financieros. Las normas actuales no han permitido evitar las derivas. Incluso han agravado la crisis. Lanzaré este debate, que, desgraciadamente, en muchos países no parece haber madurado lo suficiente.

Respecto al gobierno económico mundial, hace tiempo que pienso que debemos dar mayor cabida a los países emergentes, darles el lugar que corresponde a su peso y a las responsabilidades que desearía verles asumir. Ello se aplica al conjunto de las instancias internacionales, y especialmente a las instituciones financieras internacionales. Celebro la ampliación del Foro de Estabilidad Financiera, pero habrá que ir más allá. Después de la cumbre de Londres, creo que quedará por acometer un gran trabajo de renovación del sistema multilateral en su conjunto. En los próximos meses, formularé una serie de propuestas en este sentido.

Por último, debemos aportar respuestas a favor de aquellos que han sufrido de lleno el impacto de la crisis. De ahí que debamos aumentar los medios puestos a la disposición del FMI, para que éste pueda apoyar a los países con mayores dificultades. Planteé a los europeos la cuestión de nuestra contribución para atender las necesidades del FMI: los Estados miembros respondieron a este llamamiento. También planteé a nivel europeo la cuestión de nuestra contribución ante los riesgos que corren algunos de los países de Europa Central y Oriental: los Estados miembros volvieron a responder a mi llamamiento.

Pero desearía asimismo poner de relieve la necesidad, el imperativo absoluto, que constituye nuestro apoyo a los países más pobres. Han sido víctimas de esta crisis y, si no nos mostramos solidarios, algunos de ellos corren el peligro de ver cómo se desvanecen los considerables esfuerzos desplegados en el transcurso de los últimos años para alcanzar los objetivos de desarrollo del milenio. Hace unos días estuve en África, donde manifesté mi convicción de que los destinos de Europa y del continente africano estaban inextricablemente ligados. Responderemos al llamamiento de África y de todos los países en desarrollo con dificultades en todos los continentes.

Estoy convencido de que el mundo puede salir más fuerte, más unido y más solidario de este periodo difícil, a condición de que ésa sea su voluntad. Soy perfectamente consciente de que no podemos cambiarlo todo de la noche a la mañana, de que nos queda mucho camino por recorrer, de que es probable que nos tengamos que volver a reunir después de Londres para culminar las reformas iniciadas. De lo que sí estoy seguro es que debemos obtener resultados concretos desde este mismo jueves en Londres. No podemos fracasar, el mundo no lo comprendería, la Historia no nos lo perdonaría.

(El País, Madrid)

El reto del nuevo presidente Funes

Yo no voté en las elecciones presidenciales. No pude votar. Tengo 25 años y no vivo en El Salvador, aunque me hubiera gustado participar y haber ejercido este derecho como salvadoreña y como otros miles más que se encuentran en igual situación.

La elección del Mauricio Funes como nuevo Presidente de EL Salvador ha generado una ola de euforia, optimismo y esperanza entre muchos jóvenes.

Estos son los jóvenes que votaron por él, de su mismo partido así como los jóvenes de otros partidos que creen en él, como figura de cambio más que en el partido al que representa. Las ilusiones son grandes, sin duda.

Los medios de comunicación internacionales mostraban al candidato con una leve ventaja y desde lejos sabíamos que Funes iba a ganar, aunque internamente pareciera lo contrario. Al final fue una elección bastante pareja.

Pero la ola de euforia y de sorpresa que esto ha generado súbitamente es reforzada por la poca credibilidad que teníamos en el sistema electoral y la debilidad de nuestras instituciones responsables de llevar a cabo el evento hasta el final. Ni se diga, además, de la manipulación de los medios de comunicación en los días de campaña.

Pero dejando a un lado todos los miedos y dudas, y de los miles de observadores internacionales que estuvieron presente en el día del evento, esto a mi juicio, es un gran paso para El Salvador. Sin embargo, la democracia, en su totalidad no se termina en la simple elección de un candidato y en la claridad del proceso electoral, sino también involucra la concertación y el dialogo político que el nuevo Presidente tiene que cumplir en los próximos 5 años.

Hay una ola de optimismo increíble, un ambiente de fiesta y alegría hasta los que no votaron por el candidato. El temor que generaba su victoria en los jóvenes opositores se ha quedado favorablemente disipada con el discurso conciliador y con el apoyo de presidentes internacionales como Barack Obama.

Pero ahora surge una gran duda y miedo que se ve desde aquí a lo lejos. Y es la crisis económica mundial que golpea gravemente a nuestros países centroamericanos y que, ganara quien ganara en El Salvador en estas elecciones presidenciales, le tocara lidiar con este fenómeno en los próximos años.

La crisis internacional no es para tomárselo a la ligera, y no es consecuencia de cambio de régimen de gobierno. No hagamos evaluaciones erróneas. Si bien es cierto, esta crisis a diferencia de otras anteriores nace en los países en desarrollo, nuestros países latinoamericanos no estarán exentos y el nuevo presidente con más razón tendrá que pactar y generar buen gobierno para poder sacar al país adelante.

Un ejemplo de ello es España. Este país ha sido el más golpeado por la crisis mundial en Europa. Zapatero, del Partido Socialista, ganó las elecciones a Mariano Rajoy en 2008. Muchos culpan de la crisis económica actual a la gestión del gobierno Zapatero, sin embargo ha sido debido a las malas gestiones de gobiernos anteriores ya que desde hace mucho tiempo el estallido de la bomba inmobiliaria se veía venir.

En un reciente documento del Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo sobre la Crisis Financiera y su impacto en los países en desarrollo, se estima que la Ayuda Oficial al Desarrollo (AOD) en el 2007 fue de $104 billones. Sin embargo, con la crisis económica, la AOD deberá aumentar ya que de otra manera no se verá ningún impacto de valor agregado si se mantiene como hasta ahora. La AOD deberá ser altamente concesional con baja condicionalidad para evitar políticas contradictorias a los países en desarrollo con la baja de precios en materias primas y las externalidad económicas.

Pero lo más importante como siempre no es depender de la AOD, que tiene tendencia a disminuir en los próximos años debido a las subsidios que los países desarrollados han desembolsado hasta ahora para salvar sus economías, sino de medidas a nivel nacional y regional.

El documento resalta a El Salvador y Colombia como países individuales con grandes déficits de gobierno central, mezclado con altos niveles de deuda del sector publico en América Latina; Egipto y Jordania en el Medio Oriente.

Con respecto a medidas globales y regionales, si bien la crisis financiara actualmente ha mostrado lo disfuncional de la actual arquitectura financiera, esto no es cosa nueva ya que las crisis anteriores (como las de finales de los 90 de los países asiáticos habían hecho hincapié en la vulnerabilidad financiera). La diferencia es que hubo poco progreso en hacer una reforma significativa de la arquitectura internacional (Griffith-Jones 2003). Existe en esta nueva crisis una oportunidad o esperanza que se tome acción verdadera proveniente de países desarrollados, no sin establecer una reforma fuertemente regulada y supervisada.

Una de las recomendaciones necesarias del PNUD en este informe para los países en desarrollo, es la creación de instituciones regionales y sub regionales financieras propiedad de estos países. Estas instituciones deberán tener un rol complementario ya que dan voz y sentido de propiedad a los países en desarrollo, mejorarían la capacidad de crédito e incrementarían la red de bancos regionales que ya esta en pie aunque de modo disparejo en diferentes regiones de los países en desarrollo.

En suma, el nuevo presidente deberá pactar con el sector privado, las instituciones financieras, los pequeños y medianos empresarios que lo apoyan ampliamente y los sectores más informales para sacar al país adelante. Así mismo, a nivel internacional, deberá establecer buenas relaciones multilaterales con los demás países centroamericanos y latinoamericanos, aquí resalta su oportunidad de apoyar iniciativas de los grandes países como Brasil y México en lo que a instituciones financieras se refiere. Lo cierto es que los jóvenes queremos un país con oportunidades por igual, mas equitativo, del cual sentirse orgullosos tanto en instituciones políticas y calidad de vida, derechos civiles, cultura e identidad. Nadie quiere una guerra, ni despotismo ni de la mucha terminología que tanto se habla y que poco se entiende. Como escribió José Saramago en un reciente articulo:

“No le pido tanto al presidente electo de El Salvador, salvo que no olvide ninguna de las palabras que pronunció la noche de su triunfo ante los miles de hombres y mujeres que habían visto nacer finalmente la esperanza. No los desilusione, señor presidente, la historia política de América del Sur transpira decepciones y frustraciones, de pueblos enteros cansados de mentiras y engaños, es hora, es urgente cambiar todo esto. Para Daniel Ortega, ya basta con uno.”

El Salvador es esencialmente democrático

Termino un largo y muy polarizado evento electoral, tuvimos más de año y medio de campaña, se paralizó la inversión, todos tomaron bando: los medios, las familias, las instituciones, todos. A pesar de que el FMLN y ARENA hicieron todo lo posible por destruirnos y envenenarnos, resulta que El Salvador es esencialmente democrático.

Cuanta alegría fue saber que la derecha podía perder y no pasaba nada, cuando alegría da saber que el Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE), a pesar de sus innumerables errores, en lo esencial responde y es un árbitro suficientemente bueno.

No puedo dejar de decir que la perorata insoportable de los días antes de las elecciones fue fatal. Los innumerables correos electrónicos diciendo que si o si habría fraude, que las hordas de nicaragüenses se estaban apoderando de El Salvador. Esto sumó a la tensión que de por si existía, colocó a El Salvador en una situación muy peligrosa, los ánimos estaban para que lo peor sucediera, esa presión que la sentimos mucho también es una injustificada injerencia en nuestra decisión, casi para pensar: “mejor votemos por ellos porque sino queman la ciudad”. Miedo al fin y al cabo.

Fue intolerante la actitud de algunas areneros que ante esta tensa situación decían en privado: “si podemos hacer fraude lo hacemos”. Intolerable, porque no podía pasar, aquí difícil es no saber lo que pasa. Con la tensión y conspiración que había encontrar 25,000 nicaragüenses (los necesarios para modificar la elección en un 1%) resulta increíble que nunca los lograron ver, nadie les pudo tomar si quiera una foto, nadie pudo llamar a los medios (el Colatino gustoso lo publicaba). No es lógico desde ningún punto de vista desprestigiar al árbitro que va a ser el encargado de darte el poder.

Tampoco es lógico que los salvadoreños nacidos en Nicaragua, como mi hermano o muchísimos otros jóvenes nacidos en el exilio durante la guerra, tengan que sentirse atacados o en peligro por ser salvadoreños que han nacido en otra parte. No es justo que no se piense en las personas,  como le sucedió a algunas personas durante el proceso de votación que tuvieron serias dificultades para votar, porque su DUI decía “lugar de nacimiento: Nicaragua”.

ARENA nos regaló una de las peores campañas de los últimos tiempos, el ataque visceral contra el vicepresidente electo es imperdonable, y lo digo no para cobrar venganza, ¡por favor!, sino para reformar el código electoral o las atribuciones del TSE para que garantice que esto no pueda ocurrir. El Frente al final se puso al mismo nivel que ARENA, tan buena campaña y positiva que estaban haciendo y terminaron igual de mal. La campaña del presidente electo Funes prometió de todo y pagó con la misma moneda de los que criticaron al alcalde electo Quijano. Ahora que ganamos ya vamos a ver que se puede hacer.

A pesar de todo esto El Salvador sobrevivió y tenemos la alegría que las instituciones si funcionan, que los cambios se pueden dar que si por estos cinco años los salvadoreños queríamos un gobierno del Frente, lo podemos tener y que si en el 2014 queremos un gobierno de otro partido, también podemos. Porque este país es democrático.

Muchos extranjeros pasaron por estas tierras estos últimos días. Todos hablaron mal de El Salvador, que todo era un caos y no podía salir nada bueno. Bueno parece que se equivocaron, ahora tienen que reconocer que aquí seguimos avanzando en la profundización democrática. Esto seguro que no solo es democracia electoral lo que necesita El Salvador, estoy seguro que tenemos demasiadas tareas pendientes. Pero de lo que podemos estar orgullosos y felices es que a pesar de que nos tratan de destruir el país, los salvadoreños podemos recuperarnos y se demostró que no tenemos los partidos políticos que nos merecemos.