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US needs help from abroad to resolve finance crisis: Obama

Barack Obama calls for the involvement of industrialised and emerging economies around the world in helping to resolve the US finance crisis that threatens economic collapse at home and abroad.

world Updated: Sep 20, 2008 08:53 IST

US Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama on Friday called for the involvement of industrialised and emerging economies around the world in helping to resolve the US finance crisis that threatens economic collapse at home and abroad.



Any plan the US government puts forward "should be part of a globally coordinated effort with our partners in the G-20," Obama told reporters in Coral Gables, Florida.



"This is a worldwide issue, and while the United States can and will lead in stabilising the credit markets, we should ask other nations, who share in this crisis, to be part of the solution as well," he said.



The G-20 is an informal grouping that includes the world's most industrialised economies as well as key emerging market countries such as Brazil, China, Argentina, Australia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey.



Obama declared his support for the massive US government intervention being prepared in Washington to prevent the US economy from total collapse amidst millions of mortgage defaults and foreclosures.



The financial crisis, the country's worst at least since the Great Depression of 1929, comes amidst one of the most hotly contested presidential campaigns in decades. Senator Obama, 44, faces Republican Senator John McCain, 72, in presidential election to be held Nov 4.



Both Wall Street and Main Street face financial ruin without intervention, US President George W Bush said on Friday.



But Obama also demanded that any plan help not only Wall Street but also the country's middle class, which is the pillar of the tax structure and economy.



His comments appeared to reflect growing calls among congressional majority Democrats for such relief in exchange for supporting the White House's proposal to buy up billions of dollars of devalued mortgage assets to unblock the credit freeze among the country's banks.



"For too long, this administration has been willing to hit the fast-forward button in helping distressed Wall Street firms while pressing pause when it comes to saving jobs or keeping people in their homes," he said.



This week alone, the US Federal Reserve has floated an $85-billion bail-out of the insurance giant American International Group Inc (AIG) and made hundreds of billions of dollars available as loans to banks. On Monday, the venerable Lehman Brothers Inc declared a $600-billion bankruptcy.



"Now that American taxpayers are being called on to share in this new burden, we must take equally swift and serious action to help lift the burdens they face every day," Obama said.



Obama condemned the "recklessness" of Wall Street executives who "helped cause this mess, even as they walk away with multimillion-dollar golden parachutes while taxpayers are left holding the bag."



Obama also called for "tough new oversight and regulations" of the country's financial institutions.



He urged people to stay calm, however.



"This isn't a time for fear or panic," he said. "I know we can steer ourselves out of this crisis. That's who we are. That's what we've always done as Americans."