Global Trade Governance Not So Global

This week’s lead story in The Economist addresses what folks have suspected for a while — a lot of the institutions that are supposed to promote all sorts of good things like trade, good economic policy, human rights, and stability are getting more than a little outdated.

CLUBS are all too often full of people prattling on about things they no longer know about. On July 7th the leaders of the group that allegedly runs the world—the G7 democracies plus Russia—gather in Japan to review the world economy. But what is the point of their discussing the oil price without Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest producer? Or waffling about the dollar without China, which holds so many American Treasury bills? Or slapping sanctions on Robert Mugabe, with no African present? Or talking about global warming, AIDS or inflation without anybody from the emerging world? Cigar smoke and ignorance are in the air. Read More >>

Mmmm... delicious hospitality...All that on top of the bad publicity that some leaders like Gordon Brown got for devouring an 8-course dinner after attending G8 meetings on food shortages. Now I have my two cents on this one: the Japanese are among the most gracious hosts in the world, as my wife’s treasure trove of teapots and beautiful stationary from her father’s Japanese colleagues can attest. Should a world leader refuse hospitality fit for a world leader?

Dennis Patterson and Ari Afilalo would have something to say about all this. The G8 and international institutions, not the big, delicious meals.

Turning a big, special meal down would probably be a bit impolite, but the renovations to facilities and infrastructure detailed on the same Independent article are pretty wild, because after all, Japan is in dire need of infrastructure improvement… right?

Oh well. Here I go, shamelessly posting the dinner menu in full, grabbed from The Independent. Whoa. They’re even drinking Latour. And as for the dessert: un-sexiest dessert name ever.

UPDATE: Some blogs have coined this whole affair G-Ate Gate.

Corn-stuffed caviar

Smoked salmon and sea urchin “pain surprise” style

Hot onion tart

Winter lily bulb and summer savoury

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Folding fan modelled tray decorated with bamboo grasses

including

Kelp-flavoured cold Kyoto beef “shabu-shabu”, asparagus dressed with sesame cream

Diced fatty flesh of tuna fish, avocado and jellied soy sauce and Japanese herb “shiso”

Boiled clam, tomato, “shiso” in jellied clear soup of clam

Water shield and pickled conger dressed with vinegar soy sauce

Boiled prawn with jellied tosazu vinegar

Grilled eel rolled around burdock strip

Sweet potato

Fried and seasoned Goby with soy sauce and sugar

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Hairy Crab “Kegani” bisque soup

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Salt-grilled bighand thornyhead with vinegary water pepper sauce

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Milk fed “shiranuka” lamb flavoured with aromatic herbs and mustard

Roasted lamb and cepes and black truffle with emulsion sauce of lamb’s stock and pine seed oil

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Special cheese selection, lavender honey and caramelised nuts

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G8 fantasy dessert

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Coffee served with candied fruits and vegetables

Wine list

Le Reve grand cru champagne

Japanese saki

Corton Charlemagne 2005

Chateau Latour burgundy

Ridge California Monte Bello 1997

Tokaji Essencia 1999 from Hungary

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