Monday, March 30, 2009
See, this is an *honest* statement about the global financial crisis and one we should discuss. It is also one of the hard truths that, as US Attorney General Eric Holder said in February, that Americans are too cowardly to discuss...
Brazil's President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has raised a few brows by suggesting the global ﬁnancial crisis has been caused by "white people with blue eyes".
Mr da Silva met with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the capital Brasilia to argue that G20 economies back a $US100 billion expansion of ﬁnance to reverse a slowdown in global trade.
The President has been one of the most outspoken advocates of giving developing countries more say in multilateral organisations like the International Monetary Fund.
He has also been a ﬁerce defender of more open farm trade, trying to forge a common front among developing nations.
Asked to explain his comment that the international crisis had been fomented by "white people with blue eyes," Mr da Silva said he had no ideological bias. But poor people were the ﬁrst to suffer from the crisis, he said.
The President has often blamed the United States for causing a global crisis by practising "casino capitalism". Mr da Silva and Mr Brown said countries should adopt more ﬁscal and monetary stimulus to help combat the global economic crisis and called for tougher ﬁnancial market regulations.
Leading industrial and developing nations, including Brazil, will attend the G20 summit Mr Brown hosts in London on April 2.
"If the G20 becomes a meeting just to set another meeting, we'll be discredited and the crisis can deepen," Mr da Silva said.
"We must not let the crisis drag on as long as the Japanese crisis did," he said, in reference to a decade of stagnation in the Asian country.
Mr Brown is on the third stop of a tour through Europe, Latin America and the United States to seek support for the G20 meeting that will discuss measures to tackle the global ﬁnancial crisis.
He said the meeting was a vital opportunity to take international action required to "restore global demand through concerted and coordinated ﬁscal and
monetary policy action".
Some European leaders have opposed calls by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and US President Barack Obama to agree to larger stimuluspackages at the G20 meeting.