Do we have to pay attention to the G7?
In many ways it feels like a relic of the past – something that you see on newsreels, but that no longer should matter in a modern world.
That’s especially the case after 18 months of a global pandemic that has prevented the world from doing much of what it was used to.
However, it isn’t a relic of the past. In fact, it’s about to take place in Cornwall, UK, starting today and lasting through the weekend.
I am, of course, referring to the G7 Summit.
The G7, in case you are unaware, is an annual meeting of seven of the richest countries in the world – the United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Germany, Japan and Italy. Those seven countries account for roughly half the world’s GDP.
So, this little get together tends to have an impact on the world’s economy and markets. As much as it pains us to have to pay attention to politicians for a weekend, these people drive the policies that make the world economy tick.
So, pay attention we will. Even when we don’t necessarily think that summits like this serve much purpose anymore. Or, should serve much purpose anyway.
The theatre of it all is just that – for show. By all means Western countries should talk and cooperate with each other, but the time when the rest of the world should be looking at them and relying on them for direction should be slipping away.
Besides, do these leaders need to be in the same room to get work done? Do we really think that Joe Biden and Justin Trudeau are going to hammer out a trade deal while bellied up to the hotel bar at 3am, or something? Come on.
Also, if China and Russia (or even India, for that matter) aren’t there, how important can the meeting be? That’s some significant power brokers and economic drivers right there.
It’s not 1986 anymore. We don’t really need to have people go to a resort town and pose for photos to shape global economic policy.
The utter cynicism of the G7 and all that it represents has to be one of the reasons so many young people are tuning out of the traditional economy and looking to emerging economic spaces. In fact, that promise of decentralisation and providing self-reliance to places in the world that don’t get invited to photo ops like the G7 is one of the reasons that the crypto space is so appealing. The democratization of trading contributes to this sense of freedom and independence that is driving people away from an overly Western focused event like the G7.
Hopefully that continues, so that meetings like this will lose their importance soon enough.
Alas, we aren’t at the point where we can just completely shut this thing out. It will get widespread attention and when important people say things about the economy it tends to cause the market to move. So if you’re a news trader, keep an eye on your news alerts on your phone this weekend.
As a preview, it seems like “how to deal with China” is going to be the theme of the weekend. Take from that what you will.
Meanwhile, the rest of us will just look forward to a day when the weekend getaways of politicians are no longer newsworthy.