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April 2nd, 2009
04:00 PM ET

What's the point of G-20 summit?

ALT TEXT

World leaders pose for a group photo at the G20 summit today in London, England.(PHOTO CREDIT: JEFF J. MITCHELL/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There's a distinct possibility that the G-20 summit under way in London will amount to a whole lot of nothing when all's said and done.
As Robin Oakley suggests on CNN.com, there's little chance it can prove to be anything more than "group therapy for a bunch of fingernail gnawing, troubled individuals."

He points out this meeting comes at a time when much of the public around the world is fed up with government in general and has little faith in its ability to solve this economic mess.

If the politicians fail to come up with an agreement - and you can bet they will - it will likely further reduce any remaining confidence in the world's top economies. And, even if they do agree, it probably won't make much of a difference seeing as the G-20 doesn't have a permanent secretariat to enforce anything. As for the meetings themselves, they could just as easily be held using satellite technology and teleconferencing.

Meanwhile, the city of London is tied in knots. The streets are filled with angry mobs, which is costing British taxpayers a small fortune in security, police protection, etc.

Not to mention the costs incurred by all the countries sending heads of state from near and far to attend. President Obama has more than 500 officials and staff with him, including Secret Service, plus all the stuff that has to travel with the president when he goes overseas - Marine One, limousines and on and on.

And when they all get there they spend most of their time meeting and posturing and issuing press releases and posing for photographs and TV cameras - and then they go home. And little or nothing of substance has really been accomplished.

Here's my question to you: When it comes to the G-20 summit, what's the point?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Buster from Poughkeepsie, New York writes:
The G-20 summit is basically a duality of control and chaos. Inside the Inner Sanctum, it represents a posh prom party for the planet's most popular people. Outside the gates and the multiple layers of security, it's basically an excuse for lowlife hooligans to smash things and get on TV. And on either side of the fence there's the media doing what it does best... making a proverbial mountain out of a mole hill. And that's it from London, back to you Jack.

Jayne writes:
You think getting the Russians to reopen nuclear disarmament talks is a waste of time? I don't. All kinds of contacts are being made behind the scenes that we don't know about and it's a great opportunity for us to rebuild our image in the world.

Michael from Cleveland writes:
The point of the G-20 summit is to allow the politicians to appear to be doing something about the global crisis, when in fact, they haven't got a clue. And you can't blame them. Nobody has a clue. The world had never seen this type of perfect storm before.

Ron from San Diego writes:
Hi Jack. It's so all the upper socialites of the world could get together, smoke cigars, sip 100-year-old brandy, and brag about their accomplishments. What other reason would they go? I doubt fixing the world economy is front and center. Although that is what they want all of us to think.

Gary from El Centro, California writes:
Besides the obvious photo opportunities, it gives the leaders of the world a chance to "network" and get to know each other better. It is easier to get on the phone and work out a problem with someone if you have a personal relationship at some level with that person. Very little gets done of a substantive nature at these types of events, but they do lay the groundwork for future cooperation.

Arlene from Illinois writes:
Looks like spring break for our world leaders! Only without the booze and broads.


Filed under: Global Image
soundoff (239 Responses)
  1. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    This is one big social event and a photo op for the world leaders and their spouses, nothing more.

    April 2, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  2. Joe in DE

    Always good to talk about common problems & concerns

    They apparently are tying to develope a coordinated approach to the economic .trouble.

    Don't expect much.

    April 2, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  3. Charles, Lansing, MI

    Like it or not we are now in a position where the U.S. needs the G-20 to remain relevant. We are totally dependant on this gang to finance our foibles both at home and around the world. The greed of Washington, Wall Street, Detroit, and others has come home to roost.

    April 2, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  4. Roland

    It's the meeting of the Alumiate of power and money on this earth. These are the real players that you rarely hear about, the power brokers of the world !

    April 2, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  5. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Besides the obvious photo opportunities, it gives the leaders of the world a chance to "network" and get to know each other better. It is easier to get on the phone and work out a problem with someone if you have a personal relationship at some level with that person. Very little gets done of a substantive nature at these types of events, but they do lay the groundwork for future cooperation.

    April 2, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  6. Sue Austin Texas

    I guess the point is to the G-20 summit is to hope all members will get along and try to help each other try to work out this economic mess. But we all know all members will not take such action. One thing they should start doing is hold the summits in China than there would be no protests or protesters to deal with.

    April 2, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  7. george c paree

    the point is how world government can take over america and jack I must say seem to be help Obamas one world take over happen. chuck paree in.

    April 2, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  8. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    The only point to the G-20 summit is to allow for differant leaders with common goals to coordinate on how to reach them. If any of the leaders don't want to follow along, there's pretty much nothing the others can do about it.

    April 2, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  9. Tina Tx

    So all the countries can get together and meet the new kid on the block to see if they can work with him or want to arm themselves because he might call them terrorists.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  10. David Alexandria, VA

    If we learn nothing from the current economic meltdown, it is that we are really in a highly interconnected, interdependent global economy.
    The G-20 concept is akin the the United Nations of the economic (post-industrial) era. It is a forum for the leaders of the economic world and stewards of the developing world to develop collaborative approaches to leverage the global markets, resources and capacities. Given some time to mature, it can be a powerful and productive body. Hopefully, it won't take the path of the UN.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  11. Christopher Peter

    Jack,

    Although I do think it is important for heads of State to meet and address this global economic crisis – who ultimately pays for these types of summits? Is it the host country? Or do each of the attending countries foot part of the bill?

    April 2, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  12. Ben from Boston

    It had the potential to be Bretton Woods, but it turned out to be a dog and pony show for world leaders, including our President. It probably did no harm to the international economy but also not much good either. The President and other world leaders got to meet each other in person and no one declared war, and maybe they established an inter personal foundation for the next dog and pony show.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  13. John from Alabama

    Jack: The point of a G-20 is to provide an open forum for nations to discuss international economic policies. This G-20 will probably discuss how the global economies have gone down in value, and what type of regulations are needed to be enacted so it want happen again. These are general discussions which means no nation is being forced to accept any international edits. The results of summit are made public, so that the international community will have some expectation of transparency and compliance.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  14. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    I'm with you Jack. It'sone senseless,useless,and expensive get together for a bunch of codependents. This very easily could have been done via satellite at a very reduced cost to everyone involved.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  15. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    It is a illustration of how to spend money for nonsensical political posturing. I seriously doubt that any of the participants are in serious economic straits and some probably do not even care how their constitiuents are doing. At least Michelle Obama got to see how the Queen of England reacted when she was touched. Friendly gestures are not always taken as such.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  16. Doris/St. Louis

    The point is, Up close and personable really counts. Have you ever looked someone in the eyes and knew they were heartless liars, or looked someone in the eyes, and knew that they care not only about our country, but one who truly cares about the world. Jack, dosen't it make you happy that we have a President with good character, and an unmistakeable aura of hope!

    April 2, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  17. Sue -Idaho

    Jack, the point is we live in a very big world, these leaders need to meet and greet and hopefully decide that nukes and the like need to go away, that the people of the world all want the same things, jobs, to be able to support their families and hopfully if they fall ill to be taken care of without bankrupting themselves. So, it's very important that these meetings take place.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  18. don (in naples, florida)

    a class reunion of sorts for the kings of the jungle. none of the kings really get along with one another but kings can only consort with other kings. it gets lonely at the top.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  19. Gigi in Alabama

    It probably won't accomplish a blessed thing other than giving them all a little vacation time at the expense of the citizens of Great Britain and their own prospective countries.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  20. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I agree with you that little or nothing will be accomplished as far as the world economy is concerned. But if members were not to attend or have canceled the meeting it would have looked like they were not willing to even try to fix the problem. For President Obama it gives him an opportunity to meet leaders of the world and discuss problems that they might be able to solve. This also gives the world leaders a chance to know our president, especially after eight years of George Bush.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  21. Susan From Twin Falls Idaho

    They need to look into each others eyes to see their souls.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  22. Allan Hanson Placerville, Ca

    We don't have to agree with them, we do have to talk to them or nothing will get accomplished as was the case with the last Administration.
    Look how much was accomlished then.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  23. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    We are one planet. We can not work together unless we are willing to talk to each other. And talk to each other with respect. Respect for the other country, their way of life, and their values. Then, and only then, can we truly work together to achieve economic goals that spread out across the Earth.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  24. Jackie in Dallas

    The point is that the G20 leaders got together face to face and put aside differences for a few hours. The real work is going to be done by some of that "staff" being complained about. The leaders meeting IS basically a photo op, but also an important opportunity for leaders to meet; the real work will be behind the scenes by all the staff. The agreements will come later, after all the staff work.

    As for England, they are making money off of the meeting, so even the tying up of their roads and the protests should be lucrative.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  25. Phil, georgia

    The trick is to Not to do as Republicans have done and tried to lecture and dictate the summit; but to acknowledge others at the "table", and work together to further broaden everyone's interest. These are the leaders of economy of the world, and just as meetings of a corporation is important, so is this.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  26. Jeannette, Toronto

    Have they heard of INTERNET CONFERENCE OR GO TO MEETING!?

    If it was an open door meeting with telecasting, therefore, the citizens of the world would see the real PROS AND CONS at the table, it might be reasonable.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  27. Ray in Nashville

    Two words, Jack – Photo op!

    April 2, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  28. Heather Mash

    G 20 is a process hopefully leading to helpful regulations and positive changes in our very small economic world We are all connected and our leaders need to work together. Heather Mash
    Tillamook, Oregon

    April 2, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  29. Al, IA

    Just as nine eleven was used to push a neo-liberal agenda, the current economic crisis is being used to secure greater economic power by a few. One Summit accomplishment is a half a trillion dollar commitment to the IMF. These people never fail to exploit a crisis to satisfy their greed.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  30. LM from Fayetteville, NC

    Seems to me they are accomplishing a good thing – communicating. Everything I have watched shows people trying to get to know people. Good example, is the Queen touching someone. I think they just may give the world a new attitude – not that things are perfect – but that things can be different and the world can live together and we can make those volatile persons know their attitude(s) are not popular any more. I have watched with a lot of hope. If just meeting and talking is all they do, what more could you ask for? It is a new start!

    April 2, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  31. Mark in OKC

    The whole point of the G-20 is to waste taxpayer money in the form of unnecessary travel and security for the First Couple. All these blow-hards that are clueless as to how to run a country get together and compare notes on how to "screw up" a government. The Queen of England is the only world leader that knows what tradition and dignity really is. The rest are just a bunch of media pandering camera hogs.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  32. ANDRES SAENZ(Albuquerque, NM)

    I think the main objective of this meeting was for all of these G-20 nations to make a donation of $1.1 trillion to the IMF, the International Monetary Fund, in an effort to help poor and developing countries. I also think that another key goal of this meeting was for the Obamas to strengthen our relationships with our allies, especially France and Great Britain. I just read that Michelle Obama charmed the British queen so much, that she actually got her to break protocol by putting her arm around Michelle.

    China and Russia proposed an international currency to replace the American dollar, but I don't think that's a very good idea to prevent future economic crises.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  33. Jason, Koloa, HI

    You have pretty much answered your own question already Jack, but if there is any reason I can think of for these summits it's that no matter how much technology we have to communicate from a distance you can't put a price on shaking another leaders hand, looking them in the eye, and giving them your word. Also it must be for the awkward massages, like the one Bush gave the German leader that time.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  34. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    It is kinda amusing to see people fighting for issues like peace, and end up rioting with police...Nice peaceful images we keep seeing...

    April 2, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  35. Matt Lord

    Jack, I'm not sure that most summits amount to anything constructive, however I do believe that this G20 summit will show the rest of the world that the US saber ratteling is over and that we have a leader that is open and willing to LISTEN. Pres Obama has used this summit to show he is willing to negotiate with countries we have not historically been open with, without appearing weak.

    Matt Lord, Cedar Springs, GA

    April 2, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  36. Chris in Philadelphia

    Politicking 101, international face time. Plain and simple.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  37. Joe, Clinton Ma.

    It just so the big 20 can get together and party.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  38. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    I'm not sure that there is a point except that it's one of those things that has become a tradition whether it's needed or not. I hope that the 20 leaders got enough confidence to come back to their countries and begin the work of improving the economy. The world does need to come together to solve these economic problems and many others.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  39. Deb in Lancaster, PA

    The point for the G-20 summit is that world leaders have to come together to revive the global economy. We can't do it alone, nor can any other nation. It's far more difficult to blame it on everyone else when when everyone else is standing in the room with you. Personally, I find it entertaining that these guys can all make nice for the cameras. Also a nice opportunity for us to show off our new President and First Lady (You go, Michelle, glad you hugged the Queen. I've always thought Liz looks like she needs either a hug or a happy pill.)

    April 2, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  40. Peg

    The purpose seems to present a good global image. We have lacking that the past 8 years.

    Peg from NY

    April 2, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  41. veronica, Atlanta, GA.

    I think President Obama wanted to get help for the economy and his main purpose was to get other countries to help fix this global mess. Mr. Obama was very successful in getting them to see things from his point of view so I think the trip was a success.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  42. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    The G-20 Summit is basically a duality of control and chaos. Inside the Inner Sanctum, it represents a posh prom party for the planet's most popular people. Outside the gates and the multiple layers of security, it's basically an excuse for lowlife hooligans to smash things and get on TV. And on either side of the fence there's the media doing what it does best...making a proverbial mountain out of a mole hill. And that's it from London, back to you Jack.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  43. Craig in Palm Springs

    There's no point to the summit at all. The money spent on the jet fuel to get there could be put to better use, like more bail outs.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  44. Marie Ontario

    It makes great political fodder for the politicians as well as giving the news medias and protestors something to do and talk about.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  45. Don Paul

    Hi Jack .. Totally love the show .. I think now more than ever the G-20 better come to some real solid collective conclusions about putting in place solid financial regulations that will prevent a handfull of power brokers from handicapping our Banking and Financial System ever again.

    Keep up the good work Jack !

    Donpaul
    Toronto Canada

    April 2, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  46. Michael, Cleveland

    The point of the G-20 Summit is to allow the politicians to appear to be doing something about the global crisis, when in fact, they haven't got a clue. And you can't blame them. Nobody has a clue. The world had never seen this type of perfect storm before.
    I still say that we haven't seen the bottom yet and won't until late this year (if we are lucky). We will flounder on the bottom for a while before we actually start the long, slow and tedious climb back out of the sink-hole that our greed has put us in. I hope that Pres Obama is right in his (and his advisors) estimation of the crisis. Otherwise, as Charlie Brown would say 'We're all doomed!'

    April 2, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  47. Mary - California

    Jack-you summed it up pretty well. G20 Summit – not much point, but a lot of social status!

    April 2, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  48. Steve Armstrong

    That this event started as the g-7 summit in 1976 and now includes 20 countries illustrates the increasing complexity of world economics.
    It deserves the time spent on it even if nothing of substance comes from it.

    Steve
    Chester Springs PA.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  49. Tim in Texas

    Feeling cranky today Jack? Based on what has happened over the last months, I think most of us realize that regulation of hedge funds, investment firms, etc. is necessary. But regulating in one country won't work. It would be like individual teams in the NFL setting different standards regarding steroid use. We realize that we need our government to dump money into the economy, but it won't work if other countries act like the right-wing-nuts and freeze spending.That's the point of the summit.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  50. LUCY - ILLINOIS

    The point is , maybe it will work. We were in deep do do, when President Obama took office and he sure is trying his best to fix it.
    It went to pieces when Bush was in charge and he did nothing, "zero" to fix it, so don't rant against Obama. As far as the plane, car, and Secret Service, please tell me how many Presidents travel without that stuff? Gw and Laura traveled, doing nothing, all over the world and I didn't hear a word from you or anyone else about the cost.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  51. Karen - Nashville TN

    I think the real purpose of these summits is to aquaint the major players. These people are already carrying big loads to go with their big heads, and they are more likely to cooperate in joint efforts of any kind with people they know and who have shown them respect.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  52. RICHARD

    while the g-20 may lead to little of substance, there is a value in having world leaders express at least the pretense of solidarity during these economic challenges. yeah, it's for show, but show has some value when it comes to reassuring the world that somebody just might be in charge.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  53. jason

    well, it's where all the imperialists leaders can get together and assure each other that:
    -there will never be a revolution in their own country
    -capitalism will always be the dominant religion
    -newly enslaveble third worlds will eventually pop up
    -"we won't run out of oil before any of us die"
    -It's good to be king

    April 2, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  54. Hugh ~ Tracy, California

    Officially, the G-20 Summit's main focus this year is the global economy, attempting to build consensus among nations to promote global trade and investment while resisting protectionism and strengthening all global financial institutions with greater supervision and regulation. If the Summit is a sucess the result will be a fair sustainable recovery, creating growth and jobs for all.

    Well, it sounds like a great plan, but some leaders like Sarkozy in France are already throwing water on the fire. If world leaders want to achieve their goals they have to resist the temptation to worry about public opinion, especially those crying foul at the United States for the global meltdown. If they focus mainly on their political hides the G-20 Summit will be a dismal failure.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  55. SHIRLEY-OHIO

    What is the G-Summit? I am a little embarassed that I do not know what it is or even what it represents or what it is suppose to accomplish. I guess this is another history-making moment for Obama because I do not recall any President getting this much camera time while attending the G-Summit. One thing I did learn from this is what you are suppose to do and what not to do when meeting with the Queen. By the way Jack what does the G mean?

    April 2, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  56. Chryssa

    It says right there on their sign, Jack: stability, growth, jobs.

    Boise, ID

    April 2, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  57. Ginny Wilson

    Remember the old song "When We All Get Together, The Happier We'll Be?" That's the point of this summit – bring top leaders of the world together, feed them, and take their picture looking happy and pleased with themselves. This is supposed to make people everywhere watching television, feel happier and more secure.

    Even the Queen remarked, before the photo shot, "this should be a happy picture".

    It all does seem rather fake, doesn't it, but it makes for interesting TV and just maybe, for a few happy days at least, some world leaders will surprise us with old fashioned common sense.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  58. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    I agree with Jack that the only thing that will come out this is a lot of taxpaer expences and hot air.... Perhaps if the city of London had enough wind generators, all that wind being generated by the politicians could have been put to good use......

    April 2, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  59. Jack Canavan

    From: Scranton, Pa.
    Jack,patience is a virtue.Let's put our positive hats on for the first 100 days.If the stock market is any sign of confidence,I think the meeting was a winner.But time will tell!

    April 2, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  60. Ralph Nelson

    This is probably the most important political event of the year short of the State of the Union. Why? Economics and Security. We are in a world economy, the nations of the world cannot function economically independent of each other. The annual G-8 (here G-20) can resolve problems, set economic commitments, avoid economic failures. Reagon used it to pull the nation out of the 1981-3 recession. Today, failure of the Europeans to stimulate could mean Depression or a far longer recession. It's lost importance because G.W. Bush turned it into a cocktail party. It can also avoid security problems and bolster NATO and as we have already seen smooth things with Russia. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  61. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    Good question Jack. I would agree the G-20 does little good other than to allow world leaders to get together to chat, if they care to. Like the United Nations the G-20 has no means of enforcing anything that might be agreed upon so by and large the meetings are mainly a waste of more time and money. It would be a valuable improvement even to have one country each meeting to be the host and set an agenda for the main topics to be discussed at the meeting. I'm also curious who is the lowest ranking member of the US delegation. I would love CNN to interview that individual upon their return to find out what they learned from their experience and how that will help them day to day m on the job. I think you personally should do that interview, not Wolff.. Then you'll have an important job.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  62. Rahn Hasbargen New Brighton, MN

    Items like the G-20 Summit are "dog and pony shows" designed for each country's leader to give an IMPRESSION to their supporters that they are doing something globally while it really accomplishes NOTHING. Governments are full of such "shows" to fool their populations and "puff up" their images. It must be working, because the trend in the US and around the world is to surrender more individual freedom to these clowns, even if you thingk you aren't.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  63. Matt From Long Beach, CA

    It's been in the works for a long time Jack...to build a One World Economy that will put the power of nation economies under the power of a small clique of elite globalist bankers. It's not a "Conspiracy Theory" and it's clear it's happening now.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  64. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    The G-20 Summit is basically a duality of control and chaos. Inside the Inner Sanctum, it represents a posh prom party for the planet’s most popular people. Outside the gates and the multiple layers of security, it’s basically an excuse for lowlife hooligans to smash things and get on TV. And on either side of the fence there’s the media doing what it does best…making a proverbial mountain out of a mole hill. And that’s it from London, back to you Jack.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  65. Jack Martin

    The best part of the G20 meeting will be an enhancement of President Obama's image among world leaders. He will impress them as much as he has we Americans. I believe he can't miss. He acts intelligently, speaks english and won't give the german Chancellor a back rub.
    Jack in Boynton Beach FL

    April 2, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  66. john christopher

    The point of anything as big as the London Summit, under the economic and violent conditions that exist, is to get it across to each G 20 leader that, "We are all in this together and we have to drop the us versus them mentality and genuinely Hang Together, because if we don't, we will all hang separately. "

    April 2, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  67. Maurice - Two Rivers, WI

    You are right. The G-20 Summit is nothing which is exactly what our politicians do in Washington. No Bias no Bull.

    Maurice

    April 2, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  68. LaTonia Wilson

    Hello Jack,

    United We Stand and Divided we all Fall Down.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  69. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I don't know what the point is, Jack, but I know that communication is crucial when the World is in crisis. The more ideas and solutions being talked about, the better.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  70. John in LA

    What's the point of global communication? What's the point of leaders getting to learn about other peoples' perspectives on the important issues of our times?

    What's the point of peaceful cooperatiion?

    After 8 years of Bush's arrogance, posturing, lies and war, what's the point of letting the world see a new and different America?

    Change has come to America and the worid andi the naysayers are completely out of talking points, Jack.

    THAT'S the point.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  71. Nancy, Tennessee

    President Obama and the rest of the leaders say they know that the economy is bad and that people are hurting. This photo shoot could have been done without flying airforce one to London, transporting the beast, sending the helicopters over the pond, and paying for 200 security personnel to take the trip. When does this administration intend to buckle down and quit spending money? Isn't it enough that taxpayers have anted up trillions of dollars. Do they not know that millions eventually add up to trillons? Everyone thinks what's one more million here or there. As a taxpayer, I think, the Obama's need to get serious and live up to the rhetoric he threw around in the primary and the election and stop useless government spending.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  72. Rick T - Ohio

    Jack, This year's meeting may be important. It gives Obama a chance to see the other leaders face-to-face. in addition, I'm sure while the leaders posed for photos, their staff was busy setting agendas.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  73. Venia PA

    I actually feel sorry for President Obama because the world hates America right now thanks to the damage done by bush and the republicans. Thank GOD Obama is representing us and the G20 may not serve a large purpose but it gives him an audience with the worlds leaders and a chance to introduce himself, his brilliancy and intelligence to them. Because of him, they seem like they are very willing to listen to the US has to say.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  74. Andy

    I don't think it hurts to have them all meeting together for a weekend. At least they aren't at home screwing things up for at least a short while. I think we could alleviate the security concerns by building a Political Resort of sorts on Baffin Island and host the events in the middle of winter. There wouldn't be but a few walrus's protesting in the streets and the crooks ... I mean politicians would have to stay inside and do something for a change.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  75. Robert

    I think the point is to give the appearance of doing something. Nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  76. Linda in Charleston, SC

    I guess the point is that it would have been impossible for him to no show. Besides I'm sure he wanted to participate. Nothing like a good get together with world leaders. I think maybe he wanted to show off Michelle too. Wonder the cost of this trip with those 500 officials, limos, and on and on and on. A pretty penny I'm sure.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  77. Raoul New Orleans, La

    Why does any group or council meet in person? The G 20 allows the leaders to meet in both formal and informal settings which goes a long way in developing relationships. Instead of several individual summits, the G 20 gets the principals and their staffs to test out ideas and possible solutions with other nations. We must continue with our commitment to engagement in the international arena.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  78. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    The G-20 Summit is basically a duality of control and chaos. Inside the Inner Sanctum, it represents a posh prom party for the planet’s most popular people. Outside the gates and the multiple layers of security, it’s primarily an excuse for lowlife hooligans to smash things and get on TV. And on either side of the fence there’s the media doing what it does best…making a proverbial mountain out of a mole hill. And that’s it from London, back to you Jack.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  79. Jay in Texas

    I don't know what the point is, Jack. It seems to me to be little more than a photo opportunity. Our government has proven, by going to war in Iraq, that it does not intend to abide by any international agreements or laws. The best thing that will come out of it will probably be the attention the huge protests are drawing to their very legitimate complaints and grievances.
    Brownwood, Texas

    April 2, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  80. Jim from Chicago

    It's simple, Jack. When you can meet and talk with someone face-to-face, a lot of the fear, posturing and resentment can be lifted from the conversation. You can then appreciate the challenges that you both have in common rather than blaming the other person and his/her country for your troubles.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  81. Dan

    Bush acted like King of the Planet for so many years, issuing decrees to the UN, strong-arming allies into supporting them and childishly ridiculing those that didn't. France was the first country to warn that the Iraq WMD intelligence was unreliable, and we got "freedom" fries instead of rational discussion. It's about time the US showed that it is part of the international community again, by accepting both the blame for this crisis and taking a leadership position in addressing it.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  82. John Szatkiewicz

    Jack, has anyone thought about employing an encripted net meeting or it is necessary to actually press flesh? All large organizations enjoy these meeting on a face to face basis even company directors have to be brought in for attendance. All this does is add to the operational cost to the organization when such costs could be spent in a more suitable area, like improving income.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  83. allen, holyoke, ma

    I'm hoping that the opportunity to get up close and in each others face will lay down an initial framework in order to move the global community out of this recession. It may not produce fruit on every branch of the tree but some fruit will most definitely show up. If nothing else, we Americans get to do something we have not been doing for the past 8 years, that would be listening to others. after all we're not alone on this planet and nothing says we have all the right answers just because we are Americans...

    April 2, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  84. Jackie in Dallas

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    The point is that the G20 leaders got together face to face and put aside differences for a few hours. The real work is going to be done by some of that “staff” being complained about. The leaders meeting IS basically a photo op, but also an important opportunity for leaders to meet; the real work will be behind the scenes by all the staff. The agreements will come later, after all the staff work.

    As for England, they are making money off of the meeting, so even the tying up of their roads and the protests should be lucrative.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  85. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    Can you say self-aggrandizing photo-op Jack? This is an ego trip for the preening peacocks and peahens. Disgraceful. I can't wait until they tell us to "eat cake".

    April 2, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  86. Cathey, WV

    Terribly expensive photo opportunity. And I've loved all the shots of the president, the PM and other leaders laughing and carrying on like the world isn't collapsing around them.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  87. Kevin Monticello fl

    Well Jack, what the heck why not have a pointless meeting where Socialism is obviously active.......weve borrowed so much we have become a subsidiary of China Inc. , while they build "kill weapons" and threaten us with nukes, Obama wont even publicly criticize the Butchers of Bejing. The Chinese are laughing at the American voter, might as well get Europe to laugh at our stupidity too.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  88. JML

    1-point could be that all of the "Heads of States" can get together and maybe plan to talk about some issue they all face. I believe one (really true for governments) can NOT communicate enouph. Because the alternative to no communication can really lead to deceiption. I'm just saying!

    April 2, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  89. Pablo in Tejas

    Jack
    It is always a good thing when national leaders get face time with each other both in and especially out of the public eye. A "frank exchange of views" off camera often helps ease tensions and allows nations to cooperate sub rosa while maintaining more stand-offish public positions for domestic political consumption.

    Pablo
    Arlington Texas

    April 2, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  90. Ken Sanders, Vancouver, Canada

    You are perfectly correct Jack. A big waste of time and money. However for the new Pres. it gives him an opportunity to meet these people personally and for them to meet him. He also has top level meetings with Russia and China. These are of prime importance now. Thank you.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  91. W.R."heavy" Macfarlane

    Jack I am in hopes that the world leaders will know now we have a leader that can walk, talk and chew gum !! Considering the "clown act" that left town in January, President Obama is quite a welcome improvement and our First Lady is a class act . Be well
    "heavy"

    April 2, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  92. James In Idaho

    The point is supposed to be to exchange ideas and opinions, hopefully from the ecomomic experts in each country along with their leaders....

    how that's all goign to work out is anyones guess.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  93. Bob D, Morrisown, NJ

    Jack,

    I disagree with one of your premises. They will agree on several things, mainly on things they are already doing or were planning to do before mention of the G20. They will agree to increased securities regulation which amounts to what the continental Euros are already doing and what the US and UK were planning to do anyway. They will agree to increased stimulus, which amounts to what the US and UK were already planning, and what the continentals already do via their unemployment safety nets. Same for increased funding of the IMF. There will be a big announcement of these wonderful agreements, they will all shake hands and grin for all the cameras in the finale photo op.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  94. Carol from Chicago, IL

    Perhaps the "change" that President Obama mentioned during his campaign simply meant that he would waste the taxpayer's money even faster than his predecessor did. This trip to the G-20 Summit with a 500-member entourage is way over the top. Big waste of time and money. In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out how I am going to build back the 30% loss to my retirement accounts so I don't end up spending my golden years living under a freeway overpass.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  95. Bill

    This summit is as foolish as it is unremarkable.
    In the end each country will attempt to serve it's own intersts at the expense of any other country that is willing to pay.
    These are not statesmen/women, they are self-serving polititians. Sorry about the redundancy in that last phrase.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  96. John, Fort Collins, CO

    The point is this is a global economy, Americans did live too large, did spend beyond their means, and did trigger the worldwide financial crisis. It seems to me that the least we can do is meet with the world economic leaders, listen and let them know we feel their pain. And, oh by-the-way it would nice if we could all work in concert to get this mess fixed.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  97. Linda in Arizona

    I think it's totally pointless. It irritates the crap out of me.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  98. R. Townsend Iowa

    Jack;

    There is no way you could get twenty people in a room and come to any decision they would actually live to. What you can do is rub elbows and let the other leaders know your not another Bush. The fact that the current President can put a whole sentence together probably makes them feel a lot better.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  99. jm - Buckner, KY

    I typically agree with you Jack, but I have to say that this time I think you are too cynical. I agree that large meetings like this can seem like a waste of time, to those who don't sit back and give it a few mins thought. The benefits? Well lots of disgruntled extremists get to yell, scream and fight to get their point across. They lose public support because they act like imbeciles. Another benefit, world leaders get a chance to relax to a real life game of chess. That's what it is all about. US moves to the stimulus square, Russia moves to the oil price increase square and China checks them so they move back. Everyone else is a pawn and has little power. Finally the biggest benefit I see is that our president has the chance to line up allies that can not help but like him. We need a few of those after our worldwide reputation was dragged through the mud for 8 years. So three cheers for Obama!

    April 2, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  100. KarenB, centralFlorida

    It just proves that the stars come out to perform. razmatazz. spend money needlessly. It's a whole lot of not very much and its also
    nothing more than more face time, PR, and on and on – another
    version of American Idol but we're paying for it. Everyone is laughing at us, not that we care – our election came out exactly the way our "foreign friends wanted it to"...you know, the ones that hate us but keep taking our help and money.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  101. Ken in NC

    IMAGE Jack. IMAGE. Political Bull and more Political Bull. Did I also say Political Bull?

    April 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  102. Michael Cirone

    Face to face meetings are always more genuine than any satellite meeting.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  103. Darrell Wayne - San Francisco

    The point ,Jack, is on their heads! Bunch of dunces!

    April 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  104. Linda in Arizona

    On the other hand, it's like a college mixer. They get to have eye-to-eye and handshake physical contact. And it gives the US a chance to be proud of our president for the first time in 8 long years. I suppose that's something.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  105. Carlotta Watson

    It's like the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. If you don't show up, you look like a schmuck.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  106. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    The G-20 Summit is basically a duality of control and chaos. Inside the Inner Sanctum, it represents a posh prom party for the planet’s most popular people. Outside the gates and the multiple layers of security, it’s basically an excuse for lowlife hooligans to smash things and get on TV. And on either side of the fence there’s the media doing what it does best…making a proverbial mountain out of a mole hill. And that’s it from London, back to you Jack.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  107. DJ, Detroit

    C'mon Jack. You know the point of the G-20 Summit...it was a job stimulus package for translators.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  108. Tom, Lansdale PA

    There is a point. It took globalization to get us into this mess. It's going to take a global effort to get out.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  109. Jane Favor

    Like any PR and marketing plan – it's good for the images of the poltical leaders and bad for our country's budget. While Obama is "stimulating" he should stimulate some personal restraint.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  110. Louise in Alabama

    I have always preferred to look the person to whom I am speaking in the eyes. The eyes are the window to the soul. Is that a coincidence?

    April 2, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  111. Ricky C Williams

    nothing, that makes a difference...its kind of like preseason in the NFL...basically its a bunch of new teams trying "new" QB's, wide-outs, punt returners and line backers...we will see who game plan work after a year...

    April 2, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  112. Jose from Hoboken, NJ

    These meetings are a hold back form the past, same as CEO's and business people traveling around for face to face meetings that, for sure, can be done over a secure video link.

    Most likely it would take another generation to realize what a waste of time, and energy, all this business travel is; unless you are counting on it to get away from the spouse.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  113. Kimberly Krautter

    In a complicated, ever more partisan, fractured and virtual world, Jack I'd rather the leaders get together and talk face to face than not. It's harder to dismiss, hate and want to kill folks you have dinner with.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  114. Levi

    Jack,
    Don't be overly simplistic. These meetings help build slow but steady relationships with countries that can make our lives quite difficult. By meeting one on one with Russian and Chinese leaders, President Obama is working towards the kind of dialogue and peace deals that harken back to Reagan (yikes). These meeting seem superficial, but they add up over time to important understanding that pushes peace forward.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  115. Mike Filippi

    Perhaps the good that comes from the summit is the number of world leaders working together. That just may be worth it.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  116. Dennis North Carolina

    JACK, just like the media being global and each watching each other to put out the best news program, the economy is also global so the leaders of the largest developed countries have to meet to try to solve problems because one country can not solve world problems alone.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  117. Chris Sidoti

    Jack-
    BTW...that was my Dad's name, and we remember you from going to the Manor restaurant in NJ on Easter. What a great shrimp bar they used to have.

    Anyway...here's my thoughts....these world leaders need to meet each other beyond the electronic tv screen means...of course they can stay in touch that way...but there needs to be face to face, eye to eye in order to truly measure another person, particularly leader in this world. Body language is as important as the translated stuff...thx for all u do!
    Chris, FL

    April 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  118. Marylyn Stallmann

    It is very important for our world leaders to meet face to face periodically. They must develop relationships and work together – not just for the economic crisis – but for peace around the world. Nothing is better than looking someone in the eye when you talk to them.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  119. Kelli from Tampa

    Funny I was going to come home and google what the purpose of the G-20 Summit is. Seems like "a walk on the red carpet" for world leaders. Can anyone inform me of what the purpose of this "summit" is and what their accomplishments are? I am clueless,

    April 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  120. Wayne - KY

    Technology isn't always the answer..
    Sometimes the good ol', face to face, sit down meetings create a connection that a computer screen or conference phone can't achieve..

    Such meetings could also create an environment where friendships can begin or evolve.. A smile can make great things happen..

    April 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  121. Michael

    After 8 year of presenting Bush to the world as our leader, it is nice to show that we have an intelligent capable person representing us to the world.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  122. Jim

    The point Jack is that right now we are in a world recession and if the President doesn't show up, what kind of message would that send to the rest of the worl. Maybe...he's just given up on it. It's important that the United States be engaged in the World economy and take the lead to get us out of this mess.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  123. Emmanuel Herrera

    Well, its meant for our leaders to come together so people can get the feeling that its gonna be better because they are all working to find ways to get it better. Jack Kennedy's European Trips helped him bring charisma to the Presidency, maybe Obama is getting some points. Maybe its all in the head. No actual laws need to be passed.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  124. Josh C

    A falsely glamorous gesture meant to enhance PR towards themselves and the ideas of global government

    April 2, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  125. Stuart

    I don't think you can "nit-pick" about the cost of when our President travels overseas for the good of the world. At the same time, I would love to see positive action take place when so many Heads of State's get together under one roof. Come on people, wow us with results.

    Stuart
    Chicago, IL

    April 2, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  126. Judy S in Salt Lake City,Utah

    The point seems to be to blame the USA for everything.I don't know enough to judge the validity of some of these complaints against us.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  127. J Fizzle

    Obama sitting around, posing for cameras, and doing nothing substantive, eh? Sounds like a familiar job description doesn't it?

    By the way, nice picture at the top of "your" website
    James Fitz

    April 2, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  128. Jeff from Indiana

    The point is for the United States to stem the antipathy of those around the world who despise Americans and their goods and services. Obama is doing a good job and forging relationships so that with renewed commitments to technology and innovation, American firms can start exporting profitably.
    Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm said it best on Lou Dobbs' program. There needs to be a 'level playing field' if the free trade, global economy can work for this nation.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  129. Allen, Hartwell GA

    Maybe someone decided that it was harder to lie, or to refuse a request, when the other person was directly in front of you.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  130. Dawn Kucera

    The point is that the world leaders are seeing each other face to face and talking. It basically acknowledges the globalization of the planet and the recognition by the leaders that we are all in this mess together, and it will take a concerted effort to get us out of it.
    It is all those "extras" who will be doing the actual work – the mid-level bureaucrats from all these countries who will write the rules and make the actions happen. At the end of the day, it's probably more important that they are than the leaders.

    Dawn – Hawaii

    April 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  131. Kris Percel

    Jack,
    Point is to 'press the flesh' – an old-time means of politicking practiced by Pres. LBJ. Can't be done electronically – even by Blitzer's 'Magic Wall'.

    KP

    April 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  132. basir

    The reason for the G-20 Summit is to misguide the population into believing that something is being done to make a different in the majority of the population though this is about globalization and big business. This summit has created a revenue exceeding 50 million so far, every time one of the summits come about, its about misleading the majority and creating revenue in that part of the world, only leading countries receive that benefit.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  133. MGrant, TN

    Jack,
    frequently I agree with you but here you are way off the mark. This conference was a necessity, not to solve the world's financial crisis but to modify the reputation of America by demonstrating the differences between himself and his predecessor. More importantly, by meeting face to face with world leaders, he has been able to establish relationships with them that may mean the difference between having allies in the war on terror or fighting it alone.

    This meeting has been a great success, if for no other reason than the meetings president Obama was invited to by the Russians and Chinese to address the reduction in nuclear arms and meet with our primary banker (the Chinese). I would say all in all, that this has been a tremendously successful trip and the president represented this country with grace, dignity and class. It's been awhile since we have seen this from our leader.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  134. Fuller_Schitt

    I don't know what is the point of the G-20 summit but I do know my Canon G-10 point and shoot camera is a well-oiled machine that works without any problems.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  135. Dave, Vancouver, Canada

    Whichever way you choose to interpret it, the G-20 summit was a confidence game.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  136. Dominic C. Gardunio

    Jack the point for the G20 summit is to show to the people of this world that our leaders are doing something to control the global economy. If they work together we the people of this world will trust our leaders and we don't have to be cry babies about the issues.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  137. Tucson Bob

    I spent over 30 years as a purchasing professional and nothing beat face to face communication. Behind the scenes talks, constructive conversation, etc. is no where near as effective if done via teleconference.
    Also, keep in mind that the costs that are bantered about by the media include costs that are already built in. The President's plane is paid for, the Secret Service people are paid whether they are in London or Washington, etc. The real additional cost is fuel and the final preparations costs associated with any trip.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  138. Lou, Vancouver

    The G20 is packaging with a purpose. No one will even know what economic programs the world governments are doing unless they it put in a shiny, attractive, spiffy, new, you-just-gotta-buy-it wrapper.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  139. Patricia

    There is no point!
    It's a chance for the upper crust society to get together and have fancy meetings and dinners on our tax dollars.
    Pretending to care about the people and the economic crisis.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  140. Daryl

    The point of the summit clearly is to get all of the world's leaders to talk to one another. If we live in a world where a very large board meeting has to be called to make sure everyone's on the same page so be it but make sure we get something done. Not just meet and greet but sign and make law. I think it's just "off time" for our world's leaders to have a formal party on the "telly".

    April 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  141. VanAudio

    The point is that Americans don't look outward. It's wonderful to see an American President abroad. It gives the rest of the world hope that you will start acting like world citizens on the economic stage.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  142. David M.

    There is no point at all, aside from politcal posturing and trying to make it look like they have the answers that will fix the economic mess that they themselves (and their "Moneymen" benefactors) are responsible for creating.

    These are the same people that have guided the world ecomony to it's present state, BROKEN. I dought that anyone, anywhere has any confidence at all in their ability to improve the economy.

    The only thing the "Global Econmy" has done is make the rich richer, and dragged industrialized nations, that used to thrive economically, down to the level of poverty of "Third World" countries we used to send aid to.

    Maybe it's time to overhaul the world leadership.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  143. Tee, Minneapolis, MN

    While much of the G-20 summit might be symbolic, it is much needed symbolism for the world to feel as though there are people in control. After all, much of the global trade/economy is based on confidence.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  144. Victor

    The purpose is for the world leaders to put their differences aside and come together to resolve world issues that effects everyone in this universe. They should do this more often instead of waiting for when things get out of control to have this summit. Most importantly, they should listen to the people which they govern. That's the whole purpose of government.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  145. Michael H. Oil City, PA

    It is rare enough when so many nations get together. It airs out bad feeling. What was lead out on the G@0 summit sounds cool to me. Plus the nation to nation, Russia USA nuclear cuts, going to China. So all you ain't G20 meeting are looking for some thing that isn't there.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  146. Pam

    BUILDING CRITICAL RELATIONSHIPS!!! Initially very important to have face to face interaction – later in the term can rely on technology an other ways of communicating.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  147. Jim Blevins

    This particular G-20 meeting may have been the focal point of the biggest change in society in a thousand years. The governments of the vast majority of the world's economy agreed that they will take control of the world's financial mechanism. This is a sea change in how society works.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    April 2, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  148. Robert

    The point of a G-20 summit is chemistry. Even if the results of such a meeting are often very thin, new friendships are established and new leaders are introduced into a unique environment of world leaders. That President Obama and the Russian President spontaniously got involved into a dramatic reduction of their nuclear weapons arsenal is a great example for it.

    Robert
    Henderson, NV

    April 2, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  149. Benny

    The point of G20 is to get world leaders to commit to a plan of action... of course to which they will deny, or at least obfuscate later.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  150. Katie Kennedy

    Group therapy? Satellite technology? How sad. Can you imagine proposing to your girlfriend by satellite technology? Or apologizing to someone whose feelings you hurt? Or trying to come to an agreement about who's getting Mom's diamond ring and solid mahogany breakfront after Mom dies? Satellite just doesn't cut it; face to face accomplishes much more...makes people more amenable to compromise. And besides, it's giving the public (read angry mob) this great opportunity to vent! And it gives me hope.

    Katie

    April 2, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  151. pete peterson

    I , too, am a grumpy old guy with a few years on you, but even I see this event as a vitally important signal to the world that we Americans are back in the game as a poitive force for change. The cost: manageable; the effect: priceless.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  152. Ron - Oklahoma

    This economic disaster is a world-wide problem. It will take world-wide solutions. NOBODY knows how to fix this mess, but standing on the sidelines armchair quarterbacking will accomplish nothing. As in any endeavor, teamwork solves more problems than individual efforts. I am optimistic that such teamwork will result in positive measures in the long run. Sure, there will be mistakes, but that's life. As long as the team is willing to make adjustments when those glitches arise, the light at the end of the tunnel will be reached.

    Ron
    Oklahoma

    April 2, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  153. Michele, Sparks NV

    Jack, You know that it is important for leaders to meet face to face and for the public to see their officials actively engaging with one another in a public setting.

    If, as you suggested this could have been done long distance with video phones, we would be kept in the dark again (like the mushrooms I spoke of the last time).

    Good will is generated in person and we all need all the good will we can get. Furthermore, I realize that it has been a long time since we understood the meaning of diplomacy, but these visits, pagentry and show of respect in each other's turf is part and parcel of diplomacy.

    Obama is up front and center making our Country look like the adults are in charge once again and for that, I could careless if he has to travel with all the toys that come with the Presidency.

    PEACE

    April 2, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  154. John Ridland

    They look into each others' eyes and see their souls–that's what President Bush did with Putin, isn't it?

    Seriously, though, I agree with JML and Pablo in Texas: the more the leaders (and all their aides) communicate, or even attempt to communicate, the better for the world. I like seeing our young President out where those other leaders can see what a smart and thoughtful man we chose (for a change).

    April 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  155. Corinne, Stockton, CA

    This summet was very important. The world leaders needed a face to face chance to see that adults are now in charge of the US. I say to that, "mission accomplished!"

    April 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  156. Karen Nakamura

    Jack...
    You've been there. It's everybody smoozing with everybody else. It's the behind the scenes meetings, the exchange of business cards and proposals. It's the face to face. The media would scream bloody murder if he coldly held a conference call.
    Karen
    Forest Knolls, CA

    April 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  157. Paul in Texas

    Regardless what the outcome of the G20 sumit is the President represents us in the world community and the cost of travel is necessary. I wonder what would be asked if he did not attend.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  158. Ababu

    You're right Cafferty, it is a waste of time and money! As usual, I hope they are not funneling millions of dollars to these African dictators without strict new rules and regulations.
    Thank you for your straight talk style, I wish Mr. Wolfe learn it from you!
    Keep it up
    Ababu from Alexandria, Va

    April 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  159. Carl

    The point of g-20 simmit is based on stability growth and jobs and all of the meeting and public I find it very crazy

    April 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  160. Nancy from Outer Banks NC

    Perhaps to drive home the very point that the President made...it's no longer two heads of state making decisions over a brandy. It's in everyone interest to better understand that we live in a time that demands global decisions be made (for the economy, diplomacy, security).

    April 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  161. Brent Maddox

    Give the governments a break.....Yes they are spending precious resources...but it the cost of running a government...the main point of this summit is to build personal relationship and to help bridge diplomatic gaps

    April 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  162. leah, vancouver, vbc

    I totally disagree, Jack, for two reasons:

    1. Nothing beats face to face time when people can guage what you are saying by looking you right in the eye and call you out in front of others when you are politically posturing. The power of the world to see the leaders together and for the press to have immediate feedback and havbe direct contact with officials is worth the cost.

    2. It gives new leaders like President Ovbama a chance to be seen by the world and from all accounts increases the world's judgment of him. Thus, he has a greater chance to work as a trusted broker in other matters.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  163. Caroline

    Great question, Jack. I'll tell you what the point is because there seems to be a few who haven't noticed that part of the Paradigm Shift we are all going through is a shift in our focus from a narrow point of view of the few; to a Global consciousness that embraces what is good for the Whole. Just by coming together great strides are taken in forming relationships....in person! This is also part of the SHIFT in thinking from the elite few running the world, to a Global Perspective that considers what is good for everyone, and for the Planet.
    This is a great step forward in building the new way of doing business. There's no room for negative old ways of thinking.
    Caroline in Dunedin, Fl.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  164. Patricia

    There is no point!
    It’s a chance for the upper crust society to get together and have fancy meetings and dinners on our tax dollars.
    Pretending to care about the people and the economic crisis.

    Toronto, Ontario
    Canada

    April 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  165. Terry Tanis

    They represent those that cannot represent themselves. They represent the countries that are in grave need of financial assistance but cannot get it and quite francly might not qualify for it. They are our "robinhoods." in every sense.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  166. Matt in Seattle

    As a leader, you can do press briefings and communiqués all you want, but none of that makes a bit of difference compared to meeting other leaders face-to-face. I've been to more conferences than I care to count, and the one thing I've learned is that when you put people who can make a difference in a room together, good things happen. And we need good things to happen.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  167. James In Idaho

    Ask ROn Paul supporters and you'll get the answer that it's jsut another stepping stone in the conspiracy aimed at a New World Order.

    Ask them to show proof, and they'll repeat their claims ad naseum. Bludgeoning you with their paranoia.

    Me, I think it's the last best shot we have to reclaim some of our lost glory during the bush years by showing the world there are still intelligent people in America, adn that we arent' all dirty clones of Bush.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  168. Jennifer in Winnipeg

    Jack there must be a point to it all somewhere. But, with today's technology, i.e. 'The Magic Wall', why don't they just have a video conference. They get there individual points across and gleen information from one another without spending a kazillion dollars doing it.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  169. Billy G in Las Vegas

    you seen the stock market both here and asia-europe the past few days? obviously investors must like something that's going on with the G-20. also it sure doesn't hurt for Predident Obama to have informal meetings with the Russian and Chinese Presidents. anything that helps stabilize foreign policy is definately a good thing.

    as for the "protesters", they are as batty as a bunch of Goofy Obstructionist Party "RepubliCAN'T's" and would riot if the beer at the pub wasn't cold enough.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  170. Joy Higginbotham

    There is a mind-bogglingly obvious point that our world is now a global community and we must work as one. What happens to one country or continent affects another. What happens to the poor and uneducated affects us all. What happens when two countries war affects us all. Our global problems are international and we must work together to find solutions to terrorism, poverty, education, and economic challenges to have stability and prosperity for one and for all. It seems to go back to the Revolutionary War symbol of the snake that was cut in pieces. We all had to unite to overcome defeat.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  171. Mike ,Excelsior,MN

    Perhaps the good that comes from the summit is the number of world leaders working together. That just may be worth it.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  172. Beverly from NC

    Jack – It is important for these world leaders to meet face-to-face and discuss in person the world economic situation. Personal meetings produce more than just information-sharing. They can build relationships and create lasting areas of understanding that will mean even more in the future. Even if there were no giant decisions, these leaders needed to meet with each other, establish relationships, and open doors of communication. This can mean far more in the long term that walking away with total agreement on everything. I think these meetings open everyone's eyes to what each nation is facing and feeling and creates a whole new environment of understanding among world leaders. In today's world of global interaction on nearly every front, we need good relationships and avenues of communication open and honest. It was another great success for President Obama. He has shown the world America is now being led by intelligence, honor, and by someone who can be trusted.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  173. Kevin from Montebello CA

    Absolutely nothing. China wants a new "world currency." France and Germany want regulations "with some teeth." If anything does come out of it I will have a hard time seeing the Senate going along with it.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  174. Hugh ~ Tracy, California

    The point is all these world leaders get their ego's inflated with armies of security, lavish dinners, and the finest hotel perks after partying like ancient Romans.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  175. Anthony Frascino...NJ

    As symbolic as the G-20 may appear, it brings the world leaders together in one forum. In these times of suspicion and petty gripes, such a meeting is imperative to keep the globe from self-destruction. Where else would president Obama be able to mend so many fences
    torn down by the previous administration. Our self-image and prestige are at stake and Obama is wowing them.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  176. O Lozada

    Come on Cafferty! dont be such a scroodge! Its all about establishing COMMUNICATION! We are in the process of reinventing global attention to global issues; which are affecting everybody.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  177. Bill, Rio Grande Valley, TX

    Jack,
    The citizens of the world hope there are a few statesmen left
    and some are even in London at the G-20 meetings.
    We all know that productive jobs with living wages support economic growth. A job holder qualifies for loans. With credit, big ticket items can be bought, and the world's economy will grow. We also know our financial institutions must be re-regulated to prevent the type of situation we now find ourselves in. The French and Germans will provide leadership in the re-regulation process. Saudi Arabia and Japan have chipped in some cash to help more needy nations.
    It is true the U. S. President travels with way too much and too many. With luck President Obama will cancel the new fleet of presidential helicopters and save a lot of money.
    Hope and optimism are strong and could become self-fulfilling prophesies and are better than doom, gloom, hate and fear; just not as profitable.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  178. Bill

    C'mon Jack, the point is obvious. If it weren't for the G-20 summit, Obama would never have had an excuse to meet The Queen, and give her that iPod.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  179. Judy Stephenson

    As a retired teacher, I am a firm believer that "eye ball to eye ball" meetings with students and parents were the best way for all to solve a small problem, or a crisis that was going on in the school setting. The advantage is seeing face to face, body language, approach by all participants. I think this can be compared to the global problems we as a nation on the world stage share with the rest of the world. We have a new president who is bright, a good listener, wants to bring consensus, and comes across with a certain degree of humility. These are all positive characteristics that come across in dealing with people, leaders, countries. Therefore, we should make good use of having a leader that posesses these qualities and is able to meet with the other leaders of the world with humility and confidence. We definitely want this opportunity to happen!

    April 2, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  180. Oregon Wally Las Vegas Nevada

    Its a good way for the big dogs to exchange recipes, tell lies, show off really cool clothes, and gives them a break from the pressures of there own pissed off people. they can exchange ideas on how they have succeeded in taxing there poor people. Pres. Obama can fill the rest of the attendees on how easy it was to add more taxes on cigarettes (sin tax ) but soon they will have to return home to face the music..

    April 2, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  181. Thomas in Houston, TX

    It's all a matter of perception Jack. There is a Crisis of Confidence around the globe. If people continue to believe the economy is fairing badly it will. Once people regain the notion of economic progress the world economy will begin it's climb to normalcy. The G-20 is an effective means to providing a positive face of prosperity. Even if President Obama has to bring his oversized entourage to Europe with him, it's worth it because the image of acccomplishment portrayed to the world.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  182. Donna Hemrick

    You know what it is all about. The New World Order.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  183. lynnej

    The point is to introduce our new President to the other countries who have had to deal with the previous administration's insults, snubs and and disrespect of them.

    This sets a new tone and path for them and our country in the area of foreign relations.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  184. Francis Anyanwu

    Anything to bring us back on track is quite welcomed and the G-20 summit is an important forum for to initiate a sustainable solution to a problem that is not only an American but global. I am very hopeful like our president that we will definitely come out of this economic crisis better than before.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  185. Greg, Ontario

    That question is something Lou Dobbs would ask. America likes to think it's the very soul of the planet but as usual it is wrong. President Obama understands that America is an exporting country in a global economy. Unless it is on the same page with the rest of the world it would fall on it's face economically and it seems there is nobody in the media that understands that. Building walls against imports by anyone can only lead to painful times for any country that tries it.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  186. Ron Gary

    Well Jack, first of all the Queen actually (almost), hugged someone our new First Lady!
    It was also fun to see the Secret Service to try turning the new Presidential Limo around to different direction at 10 Downing. Must have also been a no bid contract! probably Halliburton!
    Thanks, Dick!

    April 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  187. Richard Higer

    Drop the cynicism Jack! It os misplaced at this time.
    The point, Jack, is that the world needs confidence in it's political leaders, Confidence is built by actions based on mutual benefits all played out with transparency.
    Teleconferences and e-mails won;t do the job. The public must see their elected officials working together for joint benefits.Pres. Obama generates confidence just be his willingness to listen and share views without "looking into Putin's eyes" and he has succeeded in beginniung to generate confidence around the world

    April 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  188. Gary Lockhart

    Jack,

    Maybe the point of the G20 is about house cleaning. Does it seem ironic the N. Koreans are lighting a Missile today? The day the worlds leaders are in one location. What would the possibility of a sick man aiming a nuke at the Excel Center to take out alot of important poeple? I'm sure I am not the only one to think this...

    Gary

    April 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  189. Bob

    Jack,

    It's an opportunity for the thousands of government G20 staffers, media and protestors to stimulate the London economy. The real winners are the hotels, restaurants and other businesses that benefit from such a gathering. Even the window glass shops that repaired the bank branches got a piece of the spending.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  190. Jack

    Maybe the point is on the heads of the "Heads of States". If there were a simple fix for the economy, we'd already be doing it. We won't find it in a short meeting. Let's hope they build lots of confidence in each other.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  191. Loretta

    The G-20 summit's theme song should be "People". It's all about reconnecting with the rest of the world, finding out how people think, feel, and what we can do to improve this world of ours which has deteriorated for the past eight years.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  192. Leo Richards

    President Bush Senior said it best in 1991. A New World Order. President Obama said it better January 20th 2009: Begin the World Anew... May we all realize the facts and hold on to our freedom.

    Richards, Leo
    Laurel, Maryland

    April 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  193. JC

    You can't build a world coalition through technology - Or solve our common global issues - Via Satellite - It requires the personal touch - The one-on-one gentle cultivation of sensitive relationships - Herbert said in Dune, "Men make machines to set them free - But become enslaved by them –" Telecoms are providing a great resource today - It's like the universe invented the technology to meet a global need for each individual to have a means to express themselves, individually - And, be part of the whole and the process -

    But, relying on that to replace actual interaction - Is like depending on all the "bubbles" in the economy - manipulated and created by the financial industries - To reflect and resolve the crisises they made -

    April 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  194. Alan - Buxton, Maine

    The point this year is to introduce Obama to the leaders of the rest of the world. Our image will be improved enormously because of it. The other G20 members want to celebrate that Bush is gone and has been replaced by someone with a functioning brain.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  195. Larry R Portland, Oregon

    Confidence. While it's in vogue to condemn all government these days, contemplate its absence. The coming together of 20 diverse nations to express their singularity of purpose in restoring economic well being to the world is both an important symbol and a harbinger of positive actions to follow. In this interconnected world the more evidence of cooperation the more likely we are to overcome our difficulties.

    There are enough failures these days Jack to sink a battleship. Let's take some comfort in one of the notable successes, the unanimity of the G-20, that will help to float our boat.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  196. ryan in california

    Jack there is no point all they're doing is wasting money. Why spend so much to travel when you can meet via satalite. To me a responsible President would chose his destinations wisely due to the money it cost's for him to travel. Sure when you compare a million to a trillion its not a big number but the problem is the millions add up and i don't think anyone is keeping track. I think he's being just as irresponsible as these CEO's that use bail out money for pay raises and meetings in Las Vegas.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  197. Renee Nashville, TN

    I think this is a part of the freshman year for the President. Think of it as Orientation, if you will. You can't properly represent a country by satellite. There are certain things (posture, handshakes etc...) about a person that say if that person is genuine. I think all of the G20 understand that.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  198. bill carr

    The g-20 summit is just theater Jack just theater !!!!

    April 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  199. Joe in Missouri

    These leaders need to talk to one another. I'd bet there were several of them President Obama had not met until this meeting. We all used to scream about how George W. Bush isolated this nation and refused to talk to foreign leaders, especially ones we disagree with. Obama does talk, and we scream.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  200. Greg

    Hi Jack,
    I believe the point of the G-200 meeting is evident but the reaction of the U.S., Canadian, and other markets today.

    The point is to instill confidence.

    But not just confidence to the markets, but also to the average person, and businesses, that these governments are capable of working together to agree on measures to get this financial mess, that was created mostly through greed and deregulation, turned around. And confidence that jobs will be protected and lost jobs restored. Also confidence that things will improve so that industry, business, and people start to carry on with building their lives and not withdrawing from the economy by not spending or investing.

    Greg

    April 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  201. Susan from Greenfield, Wi.

    Yes, all of the details were hammered out before the meeting, but the agreements were not sealed until the actual meeting. By all accounts this meeting was a big success, and it did do wonders for our well deserved tarnished image overseas. And the only way this could have been accomplished was by the face to face meeting of our new President with the rest of the worlds leaders. This is a global world, it's not just our big picture anymore.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  202. Karl from SF, CA

    I think it was an opportunity for our new President to meet face to face with the world leaders we have been screwing over for the past eight years. It could have been a telecom moment, but at this time the personal touch was needed. Besides, the Queen actually got a hug at this one.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  203. Chris Haakenstad

    Jack:

    I think that a more important question would be: What was accomplished? The fact of the matter is that President Obama and other leaders around the world have made significant steps toward a more integrated global economy that, hopefully, will serve the world population well. Aside from that, the fact that these leaders met in a cordial and progressive manner has given hope to Americans that we can once again play a leadership role in the world, rather than issuing dictating terms that alienates us from other nations. Kudos to President Obama and thank God for his calm and purposeful leadership!

    Chris H.
    Roberts, WI

    April 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  204. Josh

    The G20 is a waste of my CNN viewing-time. Ok, Obama meets Queen. Woot.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  205. Paul / Charles Town, WV

    These things are shin digs for big wigs to rub noises and play nice so as to bolster people's confidence that we can all be civil and get along. It is a good thing in that when these leaders are put in the same room it is more likely than not that they will be cordial and work together to address the people's concerns. If they don't, they will find themselves and their country more and more isolated and misunderstood. It is less likely for someone to bad mouth or act in detriment to another if they know they have to meet them face to face eventually.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  206. Susan - Plano, TX

    Jack,

    The summit name says it all:
    Graded: G-20

    The only good thing comes out of it is to see the leaders and their spouses of 20 countries get together and post for photos – show that this is one of the things that national leader does...

    April 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  207. Dale

    I love the comments regarding foreign nation's opinions of our leader. Do you people really think foreign nation's care about our president's charisma, charm, and ability to give the ignorant masses a warm fuzzy feeling? The world is a giant competition for resources. If foreign nations like Obama better than Bush, it is because they see weakness that they suspect they can exploit. The weaker we are as a nation, the easier it is for them to get a bigger piece of the pie. You people are so funny, you have been living in such a cushy euphoria for so long you have forgotten that this world is governed by force. If Obama dismantles our military tomorrow, all the nice words in the universe would not prevent an immediate, violent, and vicious power grab for the resources we failed to protect.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  208. Tommy

    For the nonentertainment news media, G20 must coordinate regulation that is for globalization. Capatilisim is easy – have you ever played monopoly, game over when the winner has all the money and property. It is time the News Media gets it, Capatilism is a failed system – always has been – unless there is regulation that redistributes megawealth to those who can produce social wealth!

    America's choice under Reagan was to Globilize – which requires global regulation – duh, where is the reporting of that?

    April 2, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  209. alex

    What do you mean what is the point? The point is for the world to come together and acknowledge the recession and the global financial crisis we are in. The point is to stop pointing the finger and blaming one country or another for this crisis and try to find the solutions necessary to solve the problems. The point is that everyone needs to be united. All the leaders of the world need to stop speaking about the problem about how badly it affected their countries and put their heads together and find the solution to the problem.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  210. Neil

    the point is that the previous president just let everything run on auto-pilot. We finally have someone who is trying to do something. Get off his back and give him some support

    Neil

    Illinoi

    April 2, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  211. R. L. Knapp

    Come on, Jack! This gives the oh so hard working politician and his bloated posse a plausable excuse to have an international vacation and haul back a bunch of neat loot! I get sick thinking how much the fuel, food, security deatail, and et cetera will cost the American taxpayer ( those of us not in politics who actually do pay all of our taxes without first being considered for a cabinet position).

    R. L. Knapp
    Texas

    April 2, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  212. Mike S., New Orleans

    The point is it shows world leaders working together on shared economic goals for the good of millions of people. If the leaders of each major economic system didn't communicate with each other, things would only get worse.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  213. Kay in Butte, Montana

    Jack:
    I cannot disagree with you more. It is important for the heads of states to have one on one. Even if it is only light conversation and picture taking they are assessing each other. You know in your daily business that you trust and understand a person that looks you in the eye and shakes your hand. The next meeting can be held via sattelite when they can feel more comorftable with each other's body language.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  214. Roland - St George, UT

    The point is to meet each other face to face. It's professional courtesy. Once a personal rapport is established it becomes easier to work via other (less personal) means such as telephone, video conference, etc.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  215. Stefan from Farmington Hills, Michigan

    It is so much easier to say that the G-20 meeting is useless and a waste. Everybody can do that.
    I have seen no proposal from anybody what to do else!

    April 2, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  216. Dan

    Jack, I am not sure what it will accomplish, the other night on Anderson Cooper 360 it was discussed that many of the agreements hammered out at these meetings are already typed up before the actual meetings begin. However, if they come up with a legitimate plan to help the economy it will not make a difference in they eyes of the world because no matter what the big governments of the world do (or do not do) to deal with the current crisis it will be unpopular. The options are only bad and worse at this point.
    Dan,
    St. Louis, MO

    April 2, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  217. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: the main point of the G-20 Summit is to symbolize the unity of the 20 countries. It's importnat for the world's citizens to recognize that we are truly a global village. It also is a demonstratiion to the bad guys that we can come together in unity. It's much more symbolic than tactical – but that's the point.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  218. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Mr. Cafferty:

    The G-20 is a global organization like the U.N., what else do we need to know ?

    Jack

    April 2, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  219. Eugene Search

    Jack,
    I would assume that a draft of an agreement has already been hammered out by foreign ministers and diplomats prior to any of these leaders showing up. This is the photo-op and official signing. My feeling is that we won't know what was agreed to until a couple years down the road and we see the changes rolled out and fully implemented.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  220. Melanie in rural IA

    In this day of global networking couldn't they save a bunch of money and do a video conference call? And why are they hauling their wives along? Its great for the world to see we actually have a President with a brain, but in these financial times shouldn't we be practicing what we have been preaching to wall street, major corporations and banks?

    April 2, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  221. Gail

    We participate in, and should continue to, participate in the sumit meetings because involvement with the world has proven more beneficial and productive than isolation and withdrawal. We can either lead or give up our citizenship in the world. Yes, our participation is priceless.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  222. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    It is kinda amusing to see peace advocates rioting with police…

    April 2, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  223. John

    Only a person lacking knowledge of history would not appreciate the significance of the G20 Summit. Having the heads of former enemies and adveseries coming together in agreement to protect the world economy, would have been unthinkable only a few years ago. Communism was shown not to work and now unfettered Capitalism has shown its dangerous flaws. We are all united now in the need to establish a global economy that redifines the oversight of governments and the freedom of the Free Market . We need a new system that will bring prosperity to most people, not just the few, in all countries. This could be the begining of a peacefull and substainable world for all of us and our children.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  224. Ray Sjodin

    Dear Jack,

    The G-20 meeting is probably more effective than sitting on our
    fannies and whistling Dixie as the GOP would have us do.

    Ray (Baltimore)

    April 2, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  225. waldo,york ne

    The g-20 summit is just another scam similar to wmd. A lot of baseless hype resulting in an excuse to do whatever it is that obama really wants to do. This will be proven next week when obama writes another $trillion check to another financial paramour. If obama happens to do a gram of good, he could hav done it last week instead of shooting hoops.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  226. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack----The G-20 summit point----nada, nada, nada--nothing will come out of this but "global fingers of blame."

    April 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  227. William Siegel, Scarsdale NY

    I have to disagree with you that at the end, nothing gets done. I think alot gets accomplished at these meetings. They dont just get together and pound beers. If no talking went on at all, there would be much confusion between countries, more than there is now, and if there was no communication, things would be terrible as far as foriegn relations, again, worse than you think they are now. Just because you dont see an immidiate "fix" doesn't mean nothing has happened. We are all like herroin addicts, if we dont see change immediatly, its like we havent gotten OUR fix, which translates to nothing has been accomplished. I also think its important for them to get together in person, it shows respect, and a sense of compassion and care towards others, their contries, and the world as a whole. Yes this could have been done through teleconfrence, but immagine what would be lacking if this was a teleconfrence. The face to face a far better way to communicate rather than over the phone.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  228. Kerry Diehl

    With Obama, it’s just another campaign/media event to promote himself as the “Savior’ of the world. Nothing more!

    April 2, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  229. PS

    I am a believer of problem solving when people meet and discuss things with each other. Face to face meetings are 100 times better that the Cow Boy diplomacy. G20 meetings is not a waste of time or expense. We need to support the President so the he can help the country and the world at large. Thank You.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  230. Henning

    I am sick and tired of the media over simplifying highly complex issues. Of course there will not be anything monumental to report on this matter. There are twenty (20) nations with their own interests, cultures and problems involved. Does that mean that we should not even try? The only way to get anywhere as a (world) community is to talk to each other. Americans have such short attentions spans and short term horizons. Here is an administration that finally has more of a long term vision. Give them a chance!

    April 2, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  231. Mari

    I totally agree with you Jack and was wondering the same exact things as I was watching coverage of the G-20 Summit yesterday. It seems like a reunion party to me. However, I believe this meeting to give people confidence that the issues our world face is being addressed. Hey, the stock market is over 8000 points today. But as I think about all the people that accompanied President Obama and as I hear that his limo and plane is in London with him with the state of our global economy, I wonder if all this posturing was necessary.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  232. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    the administration did not back awat from their principle because the european countries did not inject more money. The administration showed by their example that they were really there to listen! Of all people, America should understand that european countries have more a social net then here which explains the reason of their limit in injecting more money for now!

    April 2, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  233. Douglas Ford

    I think its pretty cool to get all the global power leaders in one room and talk out whats going on, and see what their viewpoints are. Knowledge is power Jack, and who knows maybe some of them will learn a thing or two from the rest. 🙂

    April 2, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  234. Remo..................Austin, Tx

    It's just an excuse to to have a "legitimate party" on our depleted dollar.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  235. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    the administration did not back away from their principle because the european countries did not inject more money. The administration showed by their example that they were really there to listen! Of all people, America should understand that european countries have more a social net then here which explains the reason of their limit in injecting more money for now!

    April 2, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  236. JOHN ORRIN GANN

    To paraphrase the late, great Sir Laurence Olivier – "What is the meaning of this orgy of reciprocal backslapping?"

    john orrin gann

    April 2, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  237. Mark from Calgary

    Since most of the G20 are deomcracies, leadership among the contries changes, and its important for the various country's leaders to meet the new members (like Barack Obama).Its also the news leader(s)' chance to meet the other leaders informally and build relationships that will help shape both foreign and domestic policies.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  238. IWANNABERICHLIKEU

    Its just a show,why waste all the taxpayers money to fly 500 people there when they could have used go to meeting or something similar?its 2009 not 1909,talk about wasteful spending.

    April 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  239. JR

    To get the leaders together to try and prevent the protectionist moves of the developed world (the same kind of moves that worsened the economic crisis of the 1930s) is a valid and worthwhile effort.

    April 2, 2009 at 5:02 pm |