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Obama, Brown seek concerted G20 action to fight economic crisis

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington : President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown have called for coordinated action by 20 major developed and emerging economies to fight the worldwide economic crisis.

“One of the things that Prime Minister Brown and I talked about is how can we coordinate so that all the G20 countries, all the major countries around the world, in a coordinated fashion, are stimulating their economies?” Obama said Tuesday.

The summit of G20 countries in April will mark Obama’s debut as president on the world stage. The group includes developed economies like France and Italy as well as big emerging economies such as India, China and Brazil.

“What I’m looking at is not the day-to-day gyrations of the stock market but the long-term ability for the United States and the entire world economy to regain its footing,” he told reporters after an Oval Office meeting with Brown.

Obama said that he was “absolutely confident” his administration’s plans to shore up the banking system would yield results.

“I’m absolutely confident that they will work. And I’m absolutely confident that credit is going to be flowing again, that businesses are going to start seeing opportunities for investment, they’re going to start hiring again, people are going to be put back to work.”

Echoing Obama, Brown too said that countries had to work together. “I think President Obama is absolutely right. And I think the history books will record that what he has done in his first, well, nearly 50 days of office has been momentous in setting the means by which we can see the economic recovery happening.”

“We’ve had a global banking failure and it’s happened in every part of the world,” he said, describing it “almost like a power cut that went right across the financial system.”

“And we have got to rebuild that financial system,” Brown said. “And that’s why we’re looking ahead to the G20 in London in April, because a bad bank anywhere can affect good banks everywhere.

“So we’ve got to root out the problems that exist in other parts of the world, as well, set principles with the banking system for the future, and make sure that the banks subscribe to lending agreements where they actually increase the lending that is available to citizens in every country.”