News / USA

World Finance Leaders Cheered by Signs of Recovery

Global economic leaders declared Friday that the world economy is recovering better than expected from its worst recession in decades, and committed to continue efforts to ensure a sustained worldwide rebound.

Friday's meetings of central bank governors and finance ministers of the world's Group of 20 nations in Washington D.C. credited massive government stimulus programs for ending the financial panic that gripped the global economy a year ago.

The meeting's message was similar to one issued last September, when G-20 heads of state laid out broad principles on enacting regulatory reform, securing economic recovery, and rebalancing global growth.

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the work of economic officials in hammering out policy ideas to guide the recovery was far from over. "Following today's meeting, we are well on our way to delivering an initial set of policy options for consideration and agreement for G20 leaders," he said.

G-20 finance ministers will meet again in South Korea in early June, ahead of a leaders summit in Toronto later that month.

Flaherty says a six-page communiqué released at the end of the meeting on Friday reaffirmed the G-20's commitment to financial sector reform and the need to improve the quality and quantity of bank capital, strengthen liquidity standards, and discourage excessive leverage.

The joint statement from world economic leaders did not mention the Greek debt crisis, but it did say that countries were committed to continue to ensure the world's rebound from the recession.

Flaherty said the situation in Greece was discussed during Friday's meetings. He says that it is a "source of concern" and noted that it is undermining the confidence of markets. "It's essential that some steps be taken, that the Greek government work with the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and with the European Commission, of course, to identify a credible, multi-year economic and fiscal program that will meet this problem of fiscal issues," he said.

The debt crisis in Greece threatened to overshadow the G-20 talks, which come a day ahead of meetings on Saturday and Sunday of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Just before meetings began on Friday the 186-nation IMF issued a statement, promising the organization was prepared to move quickly to review a request from the Greek government for an emergency loan package.

During their meetings G-20 leaders failed to reach an agreement on proposed bank taxes that would help keep taxpayers from being saddled with the cost of future financial bailouts. Those taxes would also be aimed at restraining the kind of excessively risky bets that sent the global economy into its worst tailspin since World War Two.

Canada is leading the opposition to the new bank taxes. Critics of the plan say it would be unfair to banks that did not suffer costly failures during the recent crisis.

Speaking at a news conference after Friday's meetings U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that he believed there was a broad consensus among G-20 countries on ways to approach a financial overhaul and stressed the importance of the United States setting an example.  "(It's) very important that the rest of the world sees the United States acting forcefully to make sure that we're not going to be a source of instability in the future, that the US can be a source of strength, a source of growth, a source of stability to the global financial system in the future," he said.

As for future global problems, the G-20 repeated a pledge that all countries will work to eliminate dangerous imbalances, but it avoided prodding China to allow its currency to appreciate against the dollar, a key U.S. aim.

The G-20 is composed of the world's wealthiest industrial countries plus major emerging economies such as China, Brazil, India, South Korea and Russia. The United States was represented by Treasury Secretary Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

In addition to discussions as a group, the G-20 ministers held a series of separate meetings throughout the day Friday with individual countries.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

America's Most Exotic Presidential Pets

From alligators to bears, the White House has been home to some unusual presidential pets over the years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs