04 April 2009

Fend for yourself

President Barack Obama’s declaration, at the G20 Summit in London on 2 April 2009, that the United States (or rather, the American consumer) can no longer be viewed nor accepted as the role model for driving global growth is a fascinating submission.

Fascinating from two perspectives: one, that, perhaps, the age-old (American) belief of hardworking risk-takers being rewarded meritoriously now stands under scrutiny; and two, after years of following the American economic model, most countries are now left to fend for themselves.

For many developing countries, like India, this is rather sudden. For, these countries had been emulating the American capitalist model for many years and had become heavily dependent on exports to the US and other developed nations, reaping the benefits of trade, investment and currency exchange. Now, that very foundation is shaken.

What should these countries do to face this new reality? Well, no doubt, fending for oneself should be high on their agenda… looking inward, protecting jobs and businesses, increasing demand and consumer spending, and reducing overall debt. Locally, within the countries’ boundaries.

With a little blessing, things should look up in a couple of years.

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