George W Bush has announced he will host the first of a series of summits aimed at solving the global financial crisis.
US and European leaders meeting near Washington agreed it would be too ambitious to try to handle all the issues in one meeting.
The US president insisted on the need to respect the basic principles of democratic capitalism:
“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. We must resist the dangerous temptation of economic
isolationism and continue the policy of open markets,” said Bush.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency, called for a revamp of the post-war international financial system:
“We live in the 21st century but we continue to abide by 20th century rules,” said Sarkozy. “Hedge funds cannot continue to operate as they have done in the past, nor can tax havens or financial institutions that are under no supervisory control. This is no longer acceptable, it is no longer possible.”
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has backed the initiative and offered the UN headquarters in New York as a venue for the meeting.
The first summit is expected to take place in November shortly after the US presidential election.
It’s unclear whether the next US president, who takes office in January, will be invited to attend.