Indeed. The leaders at the G20 failed completely to come up with any ideas to solve the current crisis.
So, here's one.
The governments of all the EU countries are massively in debt. Download the numbers from the Eurostat website and you'll see that while the Greek government owes 329 billion euros, it's only 8th out of 27. They are easily beaten by Germany (2,061 billion), Italy (1,842 billion), France (1,591 billion), the UK (1,353 billion), Spain (642 billion), the Netherlands (370 billion) and Belgium (341 billion). Together, the EU governments owe 9,837 billion euros, which interestingly, is almost exactly equal to the 14 trillion dollars that the US government owes.
Paying the interest on this massive amount of government debt is costing European taxpayers in the region of 400 billion euros a year. That money goes straight to - guess who? Yep, the banks. Not surprising that they can pay themselves obscene bonusses.
Even worse, the fact is that a very large part of the nearly 10 trillion euros that the European governments owe is money that the banks didn't have to lend. They just created it out of thin air by the miracle of fractional reserve banking. See the positive money website if you can't believe this.
But the nice thing is that the creation of this money from thin air can be reversed by paying off the debt. When you do this, the money (and the debt) just disappears. Again, this is beautifully explained by the people at positive money.
So, what needs to be done? Well, the European Central Bank, which has just lowered its key interest rate to 1.25%, should lend all the European governments the money to pay off the 10 trillion euros in debt, and get them to agree to pay it off over 10 years at a fixed interest rate of 1.25%. The governments hand the money to the banks, and "puff" the debt and the money disappears. Even the Germans shouldn't complain, because the ECB would not actually be putting much real money in the system. Of course, if the UK government wants to hang on to its 1,513 billion in debt so that they can keep paying mountains of money to their friends in the City of London, they are free to do so.
The money that the ECB lends could be paid back using classic methods, but I think that an even better way would be to use this as the occasion to impose a Financial Transaction Tax across the whole European Union (as Barroso want's to do). With transactions in the EU running at something like 3000 trillion euros a year (a bit of guesswork there, on the basis of the BIS numbers, which are only available for 7 EU countries), it is very likely that a very modest FTT of 0.1% would be enough if it was applied to all financial transactions. 0.1% of 3000 trillion is 3 trillion. And the total debt is "only" 10 trillion. A few years should be enough.
Oh, and the IMF could do the same thing for Obama and his 14 trillion dollars of debt.