From staff reports
In 1975, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and the United States began meeting on an annual basis to coordinate economic policies.
Canada and Russia later joined this forum. Today and Saturday the G-8 summit will be held at Camp David, Md.
The financial situation in Western Europe will be the hot topic. Europe has several countries mired in recession. For over a year now, Europe has tried to force countries to reduce government spending in order to rein in huge debt. Loans from major European economies have been conditioned on what is now called austerity measures.
Italy is one of those struggling countries and will for sure advocate increased loans, particularly from Germany, the current European economic powerhouse. Given the recent election of a new Socialist Party president, France will join with Italy, in all likelihood, in loosening the demands for austerity.
In our view, the discussions at Camp David will mirror the arguments now being put forth in our own presidential campaign. Sides are already being taken in view of a new debt ceiling debate that will require, again, Congress to raise the debt ceiling by about January 2013.
The goal for all of Europe, as well as both political parties in the United States, is to increase economic growth across the board in order to sustain and improve the standard of living for everyone. But the great divide, one that could cause the failure of the European Union, is exactly how to achieve that growth.
No one has come up with compelling answers to that question, either in Europe or right here in America.
We doubt that any breakthroughs will occur this weekend at Camp David.