The U.S. financial rescue attempt is all wrong, writes author and economic guru Kenichi Ohmae in a Financial Times editorial.
The U.S. must immediately ask for a global credit line of $5 trillion from countries around the world, he suggests.
"The only way to get this kind of money assembled is for the United States to ask for the mercy of a donation, not only to its taxpayers, but also to those who have piled up dollar-denominated instruments around the world," he writes.
China has $1.5 trillion from its trade surplus. Japan has $1 trillion. Taiwan and Russia, $500 billion each. Europe and oil-rich Gulf countries can kick in some, too, he says.
The government must inject fresh capital directly into the banks to prevent them from going out of business in droves, Ohmae argues.
The crisis is repeating a pattern experienced in Japan and Nordic countries, but U.S. leaders haven't learned from those histories, Ohmae writes.
Helping individual banks is making a bad situation worse. The problem is in the system, not the banks themselves.
After suffering its own credit collapse in the 1990s, Japan was left with three mega-banks, all of which then believed they were too big to fail.
"At this rate, the United States, too, is heading for three mega-banks, which will not serve the customers, nor will they appreciate how much the public has supported them during the crisis," Ohmae predicts.
Although world leaders aren't jumping on Ohmae's idea, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is advocating a global summit "in the coming weeks."
"It's the duty of heads of state and government of the countries most directly concerned to meet before the end of the year to examine together the lessons of the most serious financial crisis the world has experienced since that of the 1930s," Sarkozy told the UN General Assembly.
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