|DAVOS-KLOSTERS/SWITZERLAND, 29JAN09 - Josef Ackermann, Chairman of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee, Deutsche Bank, Germany; Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum (FLTR), JosÈ Manuel Barroso, President, European Commission, Brussels, Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Sweden, Jean-Claude Trichet, President, European Central Bank, Frankfurt, Giulio Tremonti, Minister of Economy and Finance of Italy during the session 'The Economic Governance of Europe' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 29, 2009. Copyright by World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch/Photo by Sebastian Derungs|
Davos World Economic Forum 2009:Jean-Claude Trichet warned financial markets on Thursday to stop putting pressure on banks to hold more capital, insisting that such proposals were exacerbating the global recession, in particular the risk of falling international capital flows to emerging markets.
The President of the European Central Bank said the view that banks should hoard funds provided non-financial companies with incentives to postpone investment. His comments, made in Davos, came as top bankers and policymakers warned Thursday that the bank bail-outs in Europe and the US could trigger a new era of financial protectionism that could deepen the global economic downturn.
Asked by Josef Ackermann, CEO of Germany's biggest bank Deutsche Bank, whether the markets were right to press banks to hold more capital, the ECB president said three times that“what the markets are suggesting is not appropriate”.
|DAVOS-KLOSTERS/SWITZERLAND, 29JAN09 - Josef Ackermann, Chairman of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee, Deutsche Bank, Germany; Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum gives an interview at the congress centre during the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 29, 2009. Copyright by World Economic Forum
swiss-image.ch/Photo by Christof Sonderegger|
It was “very important as far as the authorities are concerned”, he added, that the route forward was“not in line with the ideas that [banks] should now augment capital ratios”.
Trichet’s support for bank lending and business investment came at a time of political pressure on banks to reduce their business activities overseas while maintaining lending to domestic consumers and companies, could worsen the slump by slashing in international capital flows.
“One lesson we must learn is that we can not turn the clock back (in finance),” said Stephen Green, Chairman of HSBC, the global bank which is a big player in Asia.
“If we do, the casualties will be emerging markets which depend on international capital movements.”
Valerie Jarrett, a confidant of President Obama, reinforced the president’s call on leaders from all nations to “seize gladly” the duties of collaborating and boldly embrace “a new era of global financial responsibility” to each other, to our families, to our communities, to our country and to the world.
Jarrett, Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison, asserted in Davos, that the spirit of her “hometown” of Chicago shaped the outlook of President Obama and the First Lady through four underlying principles – timeless values, diversity, opportunity and hope – which inform all decisions that will be coming from the White House.
She said the US President was determined that while“our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism these things are old. These things are true.”
“President Obama appreciates and respects those from different backgrounds and cultures,” she said, because his own family draws relatives from four continents. He “instinctively seeks common ground and builds on it.”
President Obama has “inspired people to believe that we could keep the US the land of opportunity,” she said, and that “despite the burden of our time,” he believed “this generation, like previous generations before it, can and will meet the challenge.”
Finally, Jarrett argued that his “improbable journey to the presidency,” was driven by “not blind optimism but rather a hard-earned hope borne out of realism and a deep understanding of how we have overcome so much in the past.”
Those four principles will be marshalled to “rebuild trust” in addressing a host of serious challenges, from the global economic crisis to nuclear proliferation.
Arguing that shared security depends on cooperation, Jarrett emphasized the president’s “commitment to an active diplomacy” with all nations, his intention to roll back the scourge of diseases and, in particular, his plans to check global climate change through raising efficiency standards and engaging with other nations in negotiations.“Listening to you even, and especially, when we disagree.”
In these arenas, by engaging stakeholders and unleashing creativity, Jarrett concluded,“America stands ready to lead again.”
|DAVOS-KLOSTERS/SWITZERLAND, 29JAN09 - Bill Clinton, Founder, William Jefferson Clinton Foundation; President of the United States (1993-2001) shakes hands after the session 'A Conversation with' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 29, 2009. Copyright by World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch/Photo by Monika Flueckiger |
Former US President Bill Clinton called for urgent US leadership to stem the current financial crisis and restore the global economy. Clinton highlighted the opportunities afforded by a fundamental review of the global financial system, predicting an explosion of jobs from government stimulus-fuelled investments in alternative energy technologies. However, “the main thing is to get through this as fast as we can,” said Clinton.
Clinton also stressed the interdependence in the world economy, reminding governments that when they finance the US recovery by buying US Treasuries they are investing in their own export economies. “This financial crisis proves, as nothing else should – or could, the fundamental fact that global interdependence is more important than anything else in the world today. We cannot escape each other. Divorce is not an option.” And the former president applauded what he predicted would be a coming reassessment of global trading and development policies, in particular a return to supporting agricultural programmes in the developing world.
“People are frightened out there,” said Clinton. “There's a lot of fear out there in the economy. So, I don't think that now is the best time in the world to get new trade agreements. But I also believe that intelligent people all over the world will see that it is not necessarily the time to pick new fights, either. We have to get out of this together.”