Thursday, 23 October 2008

Pres Sarkozy takes intl lead reformer role amidst world economic crises

The world has to move on - US election or no US election - and start addressing the world economic problems that was triggered in large part by the United States Wall Street meltdown. And Europe has taken the lead... Europe is prescient in move to mitigate financial crisis reports the IHT.
...After initially dithering, European leaders came up with a financial bailout plan that has now set the pace for Washington, not the other way around, as had been customary for decades.

That was clear when the U.S. Treasury Department decided to depart from its own initial bailout plan - the one approved by Congress this month - and invest as much as $250 billion directly in American banks. The nuts and bolts of that approach were laid out days earlier by European leaders as they tried to save their own financial systems.

And that outcome left Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, and Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, in something of a commanding position to claim the title of wise men. They are now speaking of creating a Bretton Woods agreement for the 21st century, while the leaders of the country that devised the postwar financial system worked out at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, prefer to stay away from such big-picture talk.

Sarkozy, who met over the weekend with President George W. Bush, told European leaders who gathered in Paris recently that he hoped "literally to rebuild the foundations of the financial systems."
There will be a series of summits and the first one will be held with incumbent albeit lame duck US president after the Nov 4 US election, most likely in the US, as Sarkozy imposes a world financial summit on Bush

Le premier de ces sommets «se tiendra aux États-Unis, peu après les élections américaines» du 4 novembre, précise ce communiqué. Cette rencontre au niveau des chefs de gouvernement visera à «examiner les progrès enregistrés pour faire face à la crise actuelle et à rechercher un accord sur les principes des réformes nécessaires pour éviter que se reproduise une telle crise», poursuit le texte. «Les sommets suivants se pencheront sur la mise en œuvre des mesures précises devant être prises pour concrétiser ces principes», lit-on encore.

The first of these summits "will be held in the United States, immediately after the US elections on 4 November" according to the press release (issued jointly by US Sec of Treas Henry Paulson, his French counterpart Christine Lagarde and Condoleezza Rice."

The meeting will be held among the heads of states and will examine the progress that will have been made in adressing the financial crisis and to agree on the principles of reforms required to prevent the occurrence of said crisis again.

The press release also said, "Succeeding summits will deal with the formulation of a set of measures to concretise these principles."
Sarkozy has taken the lead it seems, in the intl fight for global financial institutional reforms... I can only applaud him.

En revanche, le président américain, qui sera la puissance invitante du premier sommet, très certainement à New York, a refusé qu'il se tienne sous la houlette de l'ONU, comme le proposait Ban Ki-moon. Surtout, des divergences de fond sur l'ampleur des réformes devront être surmontées. «Il est essentiel que nous préservions les fondements du capitalisme financier», a dit George W. Bush, samedi. Certes, lui a répondu Nicolas Sarkozy, «mais on ne peut pas non plus continuer avec les mêmes causes qui produiront les mêmes effets».
Meanwhile, the US president, who will be hosting the first summit which will most likely be held in New York, refused that it be held under the auspices of the UN. Diverging opinions on the magnitude of reforms are expected.

"It is essential to preserve the foundations of financial capitalism," Pres Bush said on Saturday.
"Certainly, but we also cannot continue with the same causes which are bound to produce the same effects" Nicolas Sarkozy riposted.
(Translations mine.)
Meanwhile, there are suggestions by some commenters to a Daily Kos post Polyphemus that Europe should wait for a President-elect Obama before beginning international initiatives aimed at finding solutions to reform "corrupt" practices by international financial institutions.
One even suggested that Sarkozy is "bulldozing his way to jumpstart reforms" and implied that Americans might not take the French president's proposed reform summits well.
Whoa! But why? I don't understand this obtuse attitude... It's like cutting off your nose to spite your face.
I beg to disagree with those who believe that the world should wait for a new US president before jumpstarting the finding of solutions to the largely US induced global economic crisis. The take that anything negotiated & signed won't be honoured by the president elect is wrong; that the US president-elect re-negotiates any agreement he inherits is another matter.
In my view, the world has to move on - US election or no US election - and start addressing the world economic problems that was triggered in large part by the United States before we find ourselves in another great depression. Proof is that the Sarkozy-led European initiative has produced a bit of positive result: bank lending has once again begun. It's all a question of restoring confidence in the market and Europe is jumpstarting this initiative. Is there anything wrong with that?

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