Leaders unite over financial crisis, but is it enough?
European leaders have finally got their act together. After weeks of looking divided over how to tackle the global financial crisis, they agreed on joint measures at emergency talks in Paris.
Their meeting followed talks in Washington at the weekend involving G7 finance ministers and officials from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank at which governments pledged to support the financial system. U.S. President George W. Bush said he was confident the world’s major economies could overcome the challenges.
But is it enough to stave off the crisis?
Some equity investors appeared to be comforted. The pan-European FTSEurofirst rose on Monday, U.S. stock futures went up and Asian shares outside Japan, which was closed for a holiday, made gains.
Many newspapers were cautious. The Toronto Globe and Mail saw hope in the fact that the world’s financial leaders have started setting aside their differences but said some market participants could be disappointed by the lack of specifics. Floyd Norris wrote in The New York Times that there was no assurance that credit would flow when markets reopen this week.
The Economist said the “dithering” was over but some problems remained.
Commentators and politicians are united in saying that staying together holds the key to success and that the consequences could be dire if unity does not hold.
Commentator Will Hutton, writing in The Observer, said: “I don’t know whether politicians and their advisers can move as quickly as they need in so many areas and collaborate across so many countries to restore stability.”
He added: “Without collaboration and leadership, we face disaster.”