UnScripts:How TV can solve the Third World Debt Crisis
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After fifteen consecutive days of debate, the world is no closer to solving one of its biggest problems. Outside Sting, Bono and Bob Geldof are busking their new protest song to appreciative journalists
| Oh, it's a mystery,
why we don't make poverty history.
Then we could help the babies,
Oh, yeah, the little, brown babies with rabies.
Geldof - "And do it now or I'm sending the boys round, roight!"
September 3rd, 2009 Genoa, Italy.
Inside the Palace of Genoa.
Silvio Berlusconi (Italy) – Gentlemen, please. We must bring this discussion to an end, we’ve been talking about this issue for days and I think Geldof is going to sing the next one. Besides, I have some very lovely ladies waiting for me in the Jacuzzi and they charge by the hour.
Dimitri Medvedev (Russia) – I agree. Why not summarise each proposal and we’ll vote. That way we can all go back to intimidating our neighbours and former vassals.
Gordon Brown (UK) – My idea, into which Tony Blair had no input, is to sell some of the IMF’s gold reserves and use the proceeds to pay the debts of deserving poor nations for the next ten years. And, if I may say so, being an acknowledged financial genius, this is clearly the only way to solve the Third World debt crisis.
Barack Obama (USA)– The United States position is that we should simply cancel the debt of the 42 poorest nations, irrespective of their governance so that Western Nations are shown to have the moral leadership required for the new century and so that I can win a Nobel Peace Prize. I believe that the World Bank and the IMF have sufficient reserves to pay the creditor institutions.
Nicolas Sarkozy (France)– The glorious and rather tall people of France believe that aid-receiving nations should be allowed to issue bonds guaranteed by donor-nations, and should be able to use the money as they see fit.
Stephen Harper - Canada believes that there’s merit in all these proposals, eh? And any other proposals that anyone makes. We propose a compromise in which we cancel some of the debts of some of the most indebted nations while paying back the creditors in full, having raised the funds by an international yard-sale initiative. Either that, or we’ll go along with whatever anyone else says. Does anyone else want a beer?
Geldof (through the window) - Just gives us your feckin' money!
September 4th, 2009. McDonald’s, Cackville, Illinois
|In 1972), a crack economics unit was sent to prison by a pecuniary court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the IRS, they survive as economists of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The A-Team.|
Colonel Smith – Gentlemen, we just got a call from the G8 in Italy. This could be the payday we’ve been waiting for.
Sgt. BA Baracas – I ain’t getting on no airplane, Hannibal.
BA - Shut up fool!
Lt. Peck – Don’t worry about it, B.A. Just eat your burger and we’ll talk about it later.
BA – I aint a fool, fool. You ain’t gonna get me with that trick no more. I ain’t eatin’ no drugged burger. Give me yours, Face.
Lt. Peck – Sure, knock yourself out.
BA – Uh, uh. No way, man. That was too easy. Give me yours, Crazyman.
Murdock – Pretty, pretty butterflys.
Colonel Smith – Whatever you say, BA.
BA – You think I don’t know what’s goin’ on here? You think I don’t know that the only place you ain’t put no drugs is my burger? Huh, I told you, Hannibal, I ain’t flyin’.
BA eats burger and falls instantly and unconvincingly asleep.
Lt. Peck – Why do we still hang around with this fuckwit, Hannibal?
11.30 am September 6th, 2009. Genoa, Italy
Angela Merkel – The problem, gentlemen, is that we require the poorest nations to repay their debt in hard currencies while allowing the price of their currencies and their export commodities to float.
Gordon Brown – As I see it, applying endogenous growth models to Third World nations will overcome the shortcomings of the past by building macroeconomic models from microeconomic foundations.
BA – Quit your jibba-jabba. Every fool knows that long-term growth is exogenously determined by assuming a consistent savings rate and an acceleration of technological progress.
Gordon Brown – But no one has ever defined how to measure a savings rate!
BA – What you talkin’ bout, sucker? The savings rate is directly proportional to the rate of growth of household income relative to household expenditure, fool!
Taro Aso removes a plastic mask and kimono to reveal Colonel Hannibal Smith.
Col Smith – Gentlemen, the real prime minister of Japan is feeding the fish in Naples bay. So there's no reason why you can’t come up with a deal that will satisfy the fiscal constraints of the third world without affecting the stability of first world banking system.
Angela Merkel – I disagree, if we allow third world nations to default on their debts what kind of message do we send to our own people?
Face – Has anyone ever told you how your eyes sparkle in the morning sunshine?
Angela Merkel – Well, I hardly…
Face – You see, you did it again. Would you like to come outside with me so we can look into each other’s eyes? You have a swimming costume, of course. I hope it’s a bikini.
Angela Merkel – But Lt. Peck, I didn’t come equipped for swimming.
Face – That’s naughty. But I don’t mind skinny-dipping if you don’t.
Mrs Merkel leaves with Face.
Col. Smith – Now then, gentlemen. If it’s not too much trouble, perhaps you could start drafting the third world debt consolidation agreement we’ve all been waiting for.
Dimitri Medvedyev – Hold on, Russia has agreed to nothing.
Murdock – Big bunnies eat little flowers!
Col. Smith – What Captain Murdock’s trying to say is that surely Russia could use the debt it holds to influence the borrowing nations.
Dimitri Medvedyev – Well, yes. I suppose we could force them to buy our gas, then put up the price and force them to export their beetroot to us at cut-price.
BA - Try it, ladyboy.
Gordon Brown – Wait a minute. Where are Sarkozy and Berlusconi? The garlic-chomping greasers!
12.45 am September 6th, 2009. Genoa, Italy
Lt. Peck – Hannibal, the Carabinieri are outside. They shot Bono!
Col. Smith – I love it when a plan comes together. BA, you know what to do!
BA - You want me to make some sort of tank outta materials in here?
Col Smith - Not this time, BA. I'll make the tank.
Col. Smith – Then it’s lucky I brought your mobile welding torch. You whip the agreement into shape and, if I can weld these filing cabinets to the front of Berlusconi's limo, we may just get out of here alive.
BA - Okay, you heard the man, listen up. Banks need to take their losses for what they are and stop restructurin’ unrecoverable loans an’ keepin’ poor nations runnin’ on a treadmill like headless chickens.
Murdock – Headless chickens, bawk, bawk, bawk,!
BA – Don’t pay no mind to that fool. He don’t know chickens with no heads can’t make no noise! Now the way I sees it, just because a country can’t pay back its entire loan. That don’t mean it can’t pay back any of it. We just gotta work out which part of the loan is irretrievable.
Gordon Brown – Impossible! How can anyone know how much another country can really pay back.
Gordon Brown mutters and begins chewing his toenails.
BA - Then we gotta improve the growth rate in debtor nations by restrictin' capital flight and makin' the third world a better investment risk.
Barack Obama – That’s a nice dream, BA. But we need change we can believe in, not dreams.
BA - This ain't original thinkin', here, fancy-boy. Back in 1985 when I was the most popular guy on TV bar none, Chile changed some of its foreign exchange regulations to encourage debt/equity swaps. Consequently investors could take advantage opportunities for inter-market arbitrage and the Chilean investment climate went from Arctic to Hawaii on a spring day. Bang, that ended capital flight overnight. Did you hear about that, up at the big house, huh?
Obama and Brown reluctantly agree to the plan.
BA – Now, the rest of you turkeys sign this damn thirty page bindin' agreement I brung with me while I help Hannibal rig these rocket-launchers to the headlamps. I pity the poor fool who tries to get in the way of International financial consensus.