Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Obama returns fire after China slams Fed's move

Dees Illustration
Patricia Zengerle and Krittivas Mukherjee
Reuters

President Barack Obama defended the Federal Reserve's policy of printing dollars on Monday after China and Russia stepped up criticism ahead of this week's Group of 20 meeting.

The G20 summit has been pitched as a chance for leaders of the countries that account for 85 percent of world output to prevent a currency row escalating into a rush to protectionism that could imperil the global recovery.

But there is little sign of consensus.

The summit has been overshadowed by disagreements over the U.S. Federal Reserve's quantitative easing (QE) policy under which it will print money to buy $600 billion of government bonds. The move could depress the dollar and cause a destabilizing flow of money into emerging economies.

"I will say that the Fed's mandate, my mandate, is to grow our economy. And that's not just good for the United States, that's good for the world as a whole," Obama said during a trip to India. "The worst thing that could happen to the world economy, not just ours, is if we end up being stuck with no growth or very limited growth."

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said all participants at a meeting of the world's central bankers in Basel, Switzerland had insisted they were not pursuing weak currency policies.

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