Saturday, March 28, 2009

setting the table, with plastic knives

Here are some snips from an article based on an exclusive interview preceding president Obama's visit G20 visit in the Financial Times today

"His budget could yet unravel amid outrage over the kind of double digit fiscal deficits last seen in the second world war when FDR was in the closing stages of his life. Then there is the small matter of managing a drawdown of US combat troops in Iraq, their redeployment to Afghanistan – the “graveyard of empires” – a continued global terrorist threat and, closer to home, the possibility of neighbouring Mexico being torn apart by a drugs war."

"The president is understanding towards his partners, not least perhaps because he recently signed into law “Buy American” clauses that discriminate against foreign suppliers. While pointing out the “Buy American” provisions are consistent with World Trade Organisation rules, he observes: “I think in a democracy there are always going to be some loose ends out there. That is true here and true around the world but overall I don’t think that we have seen a huge rush to protectionism,” he adds. 'To the extent that the American people [and others] feel confident their leaders are doing everything they can to encourage and promote economic growth, I think we are going to be able to hold the line on any significant slippage.'"

from the transcript of the interview

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.

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