G8 plus 2 equals G10

Like many millions of people globally I was transfixed at the weekend by two seismic events. The first was a certain soccer match in Munich and the other was Obama’s tea party at Camp David, Maryland, which by coincidence seemed to get more newsreel through it’s watching of the said clash between Germany (Merkel) and UK (Cameron; note Osborne was spotted a few seats along the line from Michel Platini at the match) than the real matters of state. Watching the brief news item on the G8 around an Arthurian Round Table I took a double take. Who are the G8? Well I recognised most of them but wasn’t sure who the asian gentleman was, was he a┬áChinese┬áleader or perhaps Japanese? On closer examination I discovered that he was the Japanese PM. And then it hit me.

None of these people can count.I’m sure millions of kindergarten children would have spotted this but ’00s of market commentators who are paraded daily on Bloomberg, CNBC, BBC, CNN, Russia Today, France24, etc all appear to have failed to appreciate the simple error as well as the supreme irony in this algebric miscalculation. In a world that is reeling from bad balance sheets, derivative black holes, bond issuances, QE, and Tarp it is almost unimaginable that no journalist could have spotted the obvious error either.

The G8 is in fact “G8+2 = G10” or if you’re a eurocrat simply “G10”.

It would appear that Mr Putin could see the elementary futility of the ‘cheap seats’ tea party at the camp so he sent his sidekick along, PM Medvedev, who by all accounts was having a jolly time with DaveCam.

The accounting error (that is the ‘2’ aspect to the complicated mathematical equation) apparently has been described as ‘off balance sheet’ by the Federal Reserve (sic!) & Goldman Sachs (sic 2!) but for clarity at least one present was an unelected politician. Von Rompuy, who Nigel Farage has had in his sights for some time, and the other being Barroso. Of course Italy’s Monti is unelected too but that’s a minor issue to the greater accounting error.

So now can we please refer to this pact as the “G8+2 = G10” aka “G10”.

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