Thursday, April 02, 2009

President Obama on G 20 and Global Economy


To prevent future crises, we agreed to increase transparency and capital protections for our financial institutions. We’re extending supervision to all systemically important institutions, markets and products, including hedge funds. We’ll identify jurisdictions that fail to cooperate, including tax havens, and take action to defend our financial system. We will re-establish the Financial Stability Forum with a stronger mandate. And we will reform and expand the IMF and World Bank so they are more efficient, effective and representative.
During the question-and-answer section, the President answered a concern on the minds of many:

QUESTION: What concrete items that you got out of this G-20 can you tell the American people back home who are hurting, the family struggling, seeing their retirement go down, or worrying about losing their job, what happened here today that helps that family back home in -- in the heartland?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, as I said before, we’ve got a global economy. And if we’re taking actions in isolation in the United States but those actions are contradicted overseas, then we’re only going to be halfway effective, maybe not even half.

You’ve seen, for example, a drastic decline in U.S. exports over the last several months. You look at a company like Caterpillar, in my home state of Illinois, which up until last year was doing extraordinarily well. In fact, export growth was what had sustained it even after the recession had begun.

As a consequence of the world recession, as a consequence of the contagion from the financial markets debilitating economies elsewhere, Caterpillar is now in very bad shape.

So if we want to get Caterpillar back on its feet, if we want to get all those export companies back on their feet so that they are hiring, putting people back to work, putting money in people’s pockets, we’ve got to make sure that the global economy as a whole is successful.
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