the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

Search form

"A time for global action"

With the G20 meeting approaching on April 2nd, this morning the President published a rare "simultaneous op-ed" in thirty papers around the world, calling for a collective effort to address the economic peril found in all corners of the globe. "The United States is ready to lead, and we call upon our partners to join us with a sense of urgency and common purpose," he writes. His op-ed appeared in the following publications:
Al Watan (Gulf States), Arab Times (Gulf States), Asharq Al Awsat (Arab-wide paper in Arabic), The Australian (Australia), Bangkok Post (Thailand), Chicago Tribune (United States), Clarin (Argentina), Corriere della Sera (Italy), Die Welt (Germany), El Pais (Madrid), El Mercurio (Chile), Eleftyropiea (Greece), Estado de Sao Paulo (Brazil), Gulf News (Gulf States), The Hindustan Times/ The Hindu (India), International Herald Tribune (London), Kristeligt Dagblad (Denmark), Le Monde (Paris), Lidove Noviny (Czech), Los Angeles Times (United States), The News (Pakistan), NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands), Saudi Gazette (Saudi Arabia), South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), Straits Times (Singapore), Sunday Times (South Africa), Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden), Syndey Morning Herald (Australia), WProst (Poland), Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan)
The President calls for a coordinated approach to three central issues, namely the need to "stimulate growth" (pointing to the Recovery Act as an example); the need to "restore the credit that businesses and consumers depend upon" including an "honest assessment of the balance sheets of our major banks" (pointing to the plans laid out yesterday); and extending "a hand to countries and people who face the greatest risk" to help emerging economies remain stable and avoid plunging the global economy into deeper trouble.
The President closes with a broader vision:
While these actions can help get us out of crisis, we cannot settle for a return to the status quo. We must put an end to the reckless speculation and spending beyond our means; to the bad credit, over-leveraged banks and absence of oversight that condemns us to bubbles that inevitably bust.
Only coordinated international action can prevent the irresponsible risk-taking that caused this crisis. That is why I am committed to seizing this opportunity to advance comprehensive reforms of our regulatory and supervisory framework.
All of our financial institutions -- on Wall Street and around the globe -- need strong oversight and common sense rules of the road. All markets should have standards for stability and a mechanism for disclosure. A strong framework of capital requirements should protect against future crises. We must crack down on offshore tax havens and money laundering.
Rigorous transparency and accountability must check abuse, and the days of out-of-control compensation must end. Instead of patchwork efforts that enable a race to the bottom, we must provide the clear incentives for good behavior that foster a race to the top.
I know that America bears our share of responsibility for the mess that we all face. But I also know that we need not choose between a chaotic and unforgiving capitalism and an oppressive government-run economy. That is a false choice that will not serve our people or any people.