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Mr. Geithner goes to Horsham

Can the U.S. Treasury Secretary find redemption in the bright lights, and on the big stage?

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner listens to questions as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington March 12, 2009. (Jim Young/Reuters)

FADE IN: A LUXURY HOTEL IN HORSHAM, ENGLAND.

NINETEEN FINANCE MINISTERS SIT AT A LONG TABLE. A YOUNG AMERICAN ENTERS THE ROOM. ALL EYES TURN TO HIM:

“We believe it is important for G20 nations to commit to substantial and sustained actions for a period that matches the likely duration of the crisis,” he mumbles.

MURMUR, MURMUR, MURMUR:

“The IMF has called for countries to put in place fiscal stimulus of 2 percent of aggregate GDP each year for 2009-2010. This is a reasonable—”

THE ROOM ERUPTS:

“Non!”

“Nein!”

“Nyet!”

“No!”

CUT TO TIGHT SHOT OF THE AMERICAN’S FACE, NOW STRAINED AND FEARFUL...

Okay, maybe the internal debate at a finance minister meeting isn’t the stuff of your typical Hollywood plot.

But what’s unfolding this weekend amidst the green and rolling hills of southern England has all the makings of a great story: strong characters, plenty of conflict and a desperate search for resolution set against the backdrop of the worst economic crisis in decades.

Better yet, this G20 finance ministers meeting offers the chance for one of Hollywood’s favorite narrative techniques: the redemption tale.

Can our protagonist — fresh from a humiliating and very public performance — bring the world to his way of thinking and, in the process, rescue his reputation and the global economy?

That’s juicy stuff for any screenwriter. But for the rest of us struggling with a widening global economic crisis, the outcome is critical.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/commerce/090313/mr-geithner-goes-horsham