Financial Times: intervista a Barack Obama

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30 marzo 2009

Intervista al presidente americano pubblicata su

Thank you for doing the interview Mr President.

Obama: My pleasure, I read the Financial Times before other people read the Financial Times. Now it's trendy and everybody carries around a Financial Times.

FT: Let's talk about the G-20. What will be your benchmarks for success?

Obama: The most important task for all of us is to deliver a strong message of unity in the face of crisis. There's some constituent parts to that. Number one, all the participating countries recognise that in the face a severe global contraction we have to each take steps to promote economic growth and trade; that means a robust approach to stimulus, fighting off protectionism.
Next, we have to make sure that we are all taking serious steps to deal with the problems in the banking sector and the financial markets and that means having a series of steps to deal with toxic assets and to ensure adequate capital in the banking sector.
Third, a regulatory reform agenda that prevents these kinds of systemic risks from occurring again and that requires each country to take initiative but it also requires coordination across borders because we have a global, we have global capital markets, and that will include a wide range of steps, additional monitoring authority coordination of supervisors and various countries dealing with offshore tax havens. Making sure that…

FT: Is that a problem? Offshore tax havens.

Obama: Well, its something that is going to be discussed. I know that in my discussion I think there is a concern that we don't want people to be able to game the system or circumvent regulated capital markets and making sure our regulations are targeting not just banks but any institution that could pose a potential systemic risk to the system.
A final area of concerted action involves international financial institutions and their capacity to assist emerging markets in developing countries at a time when those markets could be under even more severe strain then some of the more wealthy nations and I think making sure that institutions like the IMF have the resources to provide such assistance that world food supplies are not imperilled as a consequence of the break down in global trade, those are all issues that I think have to be addressed.
Now, I'm confident based on conversations that I have this week with Angela Merkel, Sarkozy, as well as with Kevin Rudd as well as conversations that I have had previously with Gordon Brown and others, that there is already a rough consensus there that by the time we arrive in London we will have taken, we will have made significant progress in moving in the right direction.

FT: Let's just talk about the stimulus for a moment. At the moment there has been a 1.8 per cent GDP boost in 2009 by the G20 nations. There are concerns among economists that you need a sustainable stimulus and therefore 2010 is key. Will you get secure commitments from say, the Europeans, for action if necessary in 2010?

Obama: Two points I want to make on this, Number one: The press has tended to frame this as an "either or approach". There are some G20 participants that are arguing fiercely for stimulus, others for regulation. What I have consistently argued is that what is needed is a "both and approach". We need stimulus and we need regulation. We need to deal with the problems right in front of us and we also need to make sure we're taking steps to prevent these types of breakdowns from happening again.
With respect to the stimulus, there is going to be an accord that G20 countries will do what is necessary to promote growth and trade. I think there is a legitimate concern that, would most countries already having initiated significant stimulus packages that we need to see how they work. Obviously I admire economists. I have a bunch of them on my staff. But to start making a whole host of plans about next year, without having better information on how the current stimulus efforts are working, is something that I think is of concern.
So what we are going to see is what the United States has led on this. We have been very aggressive in terms of our recovery package. The way our recovery package is structured, money is going out both in 2009 and 2010. But each country has its own constraints, its own political rhythms and what we want to just make sure is that everybody is doing something, everybody recognises the need to make progress on this front and that we are prepared to step into the breech should current efforts prove to be inadequate.


30 marzo 2009
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