The G-20 meeting in Seoul to create a new global economic order looks a lot like a rugby scrum, all arms and legs and little clear direction. Yet on one thing the leaders agree: The crisis is largely America's fault.
A couple of headlines show what we mean: "Obama Under Fire At G-20 Summit" (Agence France Presse) and "Obama Flies Into Storm Of Criticism At Seoul Summit," (the Sydney Morning Herald).
Why the anti-U.S. tone? Sure, legitimate gripes can be made about the Fed's renewed $600 billion quantitative easing plan to boost U.S. demand and weaken the dollar. And those who fault the U.S. for its massive debt buildup and trillion-dollar deficits will get no disagreement from us. Both policies are economically unwise.
The answer isn't in collective action, or in blaming the U.S. It lies in sound economic principles followed by each nation. These include lower taxes, smaller government, fewer regulations, freer trade, and a respect for private property and rule of law.
A commitment by the nations gathered in Seoul to return to those principles would do more than any deal on currencies or trade deficits to strengthen the world's economy.