Bush Agrees To Host Global Crisis Summit

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The global financial crisis is getting a global financial summit. President Bush said yesterday a meeting of world leaders would be held in the United States soon after the presidential election.


This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen. The global financial crisis is now getting a global financial summit. President Bush said yesterday that a conference of world leaders will be held in the United States soon after the presidential election. Other summits would follow. The president's announcement came in a joint statement after a meeting with European leaders at Camp David. NPR's Curt Nickisch reports.

CURT NICKISCH: President Bush met Saturday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the European Commission head, Jose Manuel Barroso. For days, the Europeans have been calling for a summit to reform the global financial markets. President Bush said the interconnected world does call for a common solution and that he would invite leaders from both industrial and developing nations.

President GEORGE W. BUSH (United States): And together we will work to strengthen and modernize our nation's financial systems so we can help ensure that this crisis doesn't happen again.

NICKISCH: The French President had his own ideas as to where the first summit should be held. Sarkozy spoke through a translator.

President NICOLAS SARKOZY (France): (Through translator) In so far as the crisis began in New York, then the global solution must be found in New York.

NICKISCH: He also called on President Bush to use the current economic crisis as an opportunity to form a new kind of capitalism. ..TEXT: President SARKOZY: (Through translator) Hedge funds cannot continue operating as they had in the past. Tax havens, neither. Financial institutions that are under no supervisory control, this is no longer acceptable. This is no longer possible.

NICKISCH: Standing next to Sarkozy, European Commission President Barroso agreed.

Mr. JOSE MANUEL BARROSO (President, European Commission): We need a new global financial order.

NICKISCH: A new world order of the financial markets would, of course, change America's economic status. President Bush has supported many of the measures European countries have taken to shore up their banking systems, but he has not signed on to some of the more sweeping proposed regulations. Mr. Bush warned against going too far.

President BUSH: As we make the regulatory and institutional changes necessary to avoid a repeat of this crisis, it is essential that we preserve the foundations of democratic capitalism, a commitment to free markets, free enterprise, and free trade.

NICKISCH: It's unclear how this tension will play out since President Bush has just a few months left in office. His successor faces a tough job to get the world's nations to negotiate a clear, common benefit, but to keep individual ones from taking advantage for their own economic gain. Curt Nickisch, NPR News.

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