U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday pledged to work with leaders of the G-20 countries to strengthen the rules governing financial markets and ensure that the global economic crisis that engulfed the world just a year ago does not happen again.
“At next week’s G-20 summit, we’ll discuss some of the steps that are required to safeguard our global financial system and close gaps in regulation around the world — gaps that permitted the kinds of reckless risk-taking and irresponsibility that led to the crisis,” Mr. Obama in his weekly radio and Internet address to the nation.
The two-day G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, beginning on Thursday, comes five months after the world’s 20 leading and emerging economies met in London in April at the height of the crisis that required unprecedented international cooperation to help break the downward spiral which hit all the nations.
“We cannot allow the thirst for reckless schemes that produce quick profits and fat executive bonuses to override the security of our entire financial system and leave taxpayers on the hook for cleaning up the mess,” he said.
Mr. Obama said the world’s leading economies had made progress in stabilising the global financial system but much work remained to create jobs and growth.
Financial crises know no borders, Mr. Obama said, adding that he would continue working with world leaders both at the upcoming summit and beyond to build on the progress already made.
“At next week’s summit, we’ll have, in effect, a five-month check-up to review the steps each nation has taken — separately and together — to break the back of this economic crisis,” he said.
Meanwhile, reports here said Asian leaders gathering for the summit will be demanding a greater say in the way global financial institutions take crucial decisions.
Traditionally, the Western countries have wielded power at the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations.
But Asia has done better, relatively, during the world economic crisis. And Asian-Pacific G-20 nations such as India, Japan and South Korea believe their growing importance deserves a bigger voice in the world’s financial decision making.
The world’s established powers on their part will ask the Asian countries to increase imports, reduce large trade surpluses and cut greenhouse gases blamed for climate change.