And so the significance of this is not just that everybody is coming together, but in all those different dimensions of the economic activity of the world, how we can restructure the financial system, how we can get growth back and create jobs in the world, how we can rebuild our financial institutions for the future, how we can help the poorest countries of the world, how we can move forward on low-carbon recovery — you’re going to see action.
And of course it’s difficult, of course it’s complex — you have a large number of countries. But I’m very confident that people not only want to work together, but we agree a common global plan for recovery and reform.
Q Tom Bradby, ITV News. Mr. President, I hear what you say, but you’ve committed a vast sum of your country’s money to a huge fiscal stimulus and we had the clear impression that you wanted other countries to come in behind you a bit more strongly. It appears that — we’ve been told by the Governor of the Bank of England we can’t do more for the moment, and the French and the Germans won’t. Are you disappointed by that? And are you actually still calling on other countries to go further?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, as I said before, I think that there is broad recognition that in the midst of the worst crisis we’ve seen since the ’30s, that governments are going to have to act. And certainly the United States does not intend to act alone — and we’re not. Great Britain has taken serious steps. The European Union has taken serious steps. Australia, Canada, Japan, China have all initiated significant stimulus packages.
And I think that our goal is simply to make certain that each country, taking into account its differences in economic circumstances, as well as political culture, is doing what is necessary to promote economic growth.
The United States will do its share, but I think that one of the things that Gordon and I spoke about is the fact that in some ways the world has become accustomed to the United States being a voracious consumer market and the engine that drives a lot of economic growth worldwide. And I think that in the wake of this crisis, even as we’re doing stimulus we have to take into account our own deficits. We’re going to have to take into account a whole host of factors that can increase our savings rate and start dealing with our long-term fiscal position, as well as our current account deficits.
Those are all issues that we have to deal with internally, which means that if there’s going to be renewed growth, it can’t just be the United States as the engine. Everybody is going to have to pick up the pace. And I think that there’s a recognition, based on the conversations that I’ve had with leaders around the world, that that is important.