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US Treasury Secretary Urges Forceful Response to Global Economic Crisis


U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Wednesday called for forceful, coordinated action to arrest the economic crisis by 20 advanced and developing economies, whose leaders are scheduled to meet in London next month.

Geithner will take part this weekend's summit planning session in Britain.

During a meeting with President Obama, Geithner said there must be concerted action to jump-start the world economy, which is mired in its worst slump in 60 years. He said the Group of 20 economies, which account for 80 percent of global output, should put in place coordinated measures to boost growth and safeguard their financial systems.

Geithner suggested that the International Monetary Fund, a global lender owned by its over 190 member countries, should be given greater resources to help countries in distress. He said the IMF should monitor the Group of 20 nations' progress in implementing recovery measures.

"We want to bring together a new consensus globally on how to strengthen this global financial system so that a crisis like this never happens again. There's been a lot of talk and a lot of ideas over the past two years in these areas. Now it is time for us to move together and begin to act to put in place a stronger framework of reforms," he said.

The Group of 20 is comprised of the seven richest industrial countries plus Russia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa and other developing countries. Their leaders held their first emergency meeting in Washington in November and agreed then to meet again in April.

Analyst Mark Zandi of Moody's Economy.com says the G-20 meeting is vital as virtually all parts of the world are in recession.

"We have almost every country on the planet in recession. The developed economies, of course, are getting hit very hard. Europe was down six percent in the fourth quarter. Japan was down 12 percent. And the U.S. was down six percent. In the emerging economies, the problems are also intensifying. And even China and India, which have been juggernauts, have been hurt badly," he said.

Geithner said the G-20 nations are committed to doing all that is necessary to get the world economy moving again.

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