Saturday, February 28, 2009

British PM hopes for economic pact in Obama talks

LONDON (AP) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Saturday he will try to forge a global pact to buck the global economic downturn during talks with U.S. President Barack Obama next week.

Brown travels to Washington for a meeting with Obama at the White House on Tuesday and will address a joint session of both houses of Congress on Wednesday.

Writing in London's Sunday Times, editions of which were available on Saturday night, Brown said that all nations should agree to inject cash into their economies, sign up to universal banking reforms and back an overhaul of international institutions.

"I believe there is no challenge so great or so difficult that it cannot be overcome by America, Britain and the world working together," Brown wrote in the opinion piece.

"That is why President Obama and I will discuss this week a global new deal, whose impact can stretch from the villages of Africa to reforming the financial institutions of London and New York - and giving security to the hardworking families in every country."

Britain has invested billions of pounds (dollars) to bail out banks and boost the country's economy, while Obama has had a $787 billion economic stimulus bill passed in the U.S.

Brown will become the first European leader to visit the Obama since he took office. However, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso visited the White House for a meeting on Tuesday.

The British leader said that he sees parallels in Obama's ideals with Britain's vaunted former Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

"Churchill described the joint inheritance of Britain and America as not just a shared history but a shared belief in the great principles of freedom and the rights of man - what Barack Obama has described as the enduring power of our ideals - democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope," Brown wrote.

In a speech to party activists on Saturday, Brown said that Britain may consider sweeping new reforms to the country's banking system.

He said he's considering establishing a wholly publicly owned savings bank and possibly a state-owned investment bank, which would be dedicated to financing innovation.

"Our task must be nothing less than to rebuild a financial system where it has failed and then to create an economy where banks are no longer serving themselves but serving the public of this country," Brown said.


Yeah! More fuel for the fire!!!



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