Obama, Brown on the Record: G-20 Summit

PRIME MINISTER BROWN: The whole of the United Kingdom welcomes President Obama and the First Lady on your first official visit to our country. President Obama, you have given renewed hope not only to the citizens of the United States of America, but to all citizens in all part of the world. And I want to thank you for your leadership, your vision and your courage, which you’ve already shown in your presidency, and congratulate you on the dynamism, the energy and, indeed, the achievements that you have been responsible for.

Your first 70 days in office have changed America, and you’ve changed America’s relationship with the world. So I thank you for coming to our country and I hope you will enjoy your visit with us.

Today we are renewing our special relationship for new times. Ours is not an alliance of convenience; it is a partnership of purpose. It’s a partnership that at times of challenge is resilient and at times of change is constant.

President Obama and I are agreed about the significance of this week’s G20 meeting, that the world is coming together to act in the face of unprecedented global financial times. Our first duty is to those who are suffering most — the people anxious about their mortgages, their jobs and their family’s future. For them, the pain of recession is all too real. But let us not forget that in 1929, when the Wall Street crash happened and led to recession, it was not until 1945 that the world came together to reshape the world economy. Then it took more than 15 years.

Today, within months of this financial crisis, we are coming together to solve the common problems we face, we are cooperating to shorten the recession, and we are working together to protect and save jobs. The truth is that today’s global problems require global solutions. And at this week’s summit, where leaders representing 85 percent of the world’s economy are gathering together, this summit cannot simply agree to the lowest common denominator. We must stand united in our determination to do whatever is necessary.

This is an unprecedented financial crisis. People have lost their homes, their jobs, and in some cases, their hope. And President Obama and I are agreed today that the actions we take are global solutions required for global problems.

There are really five tests for the G20 summit, five tests for the world — tests that if met, will create a new consensus for the world. The speed and scale of global economic change has overwhelmed the national system of rules and regulations. So our first test is to agree tougher and more transparent supervision of banks, hedge funds, and what is known as the global shadow banking system. We are both agreed there will be no sustainable recovery until the banks are cleaned up and a new regulatory system is put in place.

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