Leaders meet on bank regulations

U.S. President George W. Bush talks about the economy and recent bailout package at the United States Chamber of Commerce on October 17, 2008 in Washington, D.C.


Bill Radke: Minutes ago, President Bush again tried to reassure Americans that the crisis will ease:

President George W. Bush: It took awhile for the credit system to freeze up, it's going to take awhile for the credit system to thaw. These are decisive measures aimed at the heart of our financial challenges -- and they're big enough and bold enough to work.

President Bush will meet this weekend with two European leaders to discuss reform of the world's financial system. From Washington, John Dimsdale reports the Europeans may find a skeptical audience.

John Dimsdale: French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will ask President Bush to join them in a call for a global restructuring of bank regulations. The Europeans envision tighter capital requirements and better ways for regulators in one country to keep tabs on global banks.

Nigel Nagarajan is the economics counselor at the European Union's delegation in Washington.

Nigel Nagarajan: We need to be thinking about early warning systems that can provide signals to policy makers about when risks are building up and what actions they might need to take.

That includes more transparency about all bank operations from loans to reserves. But more government oversight -- especially by foreigners -- doesn't sit so well with some free market countries. Even some in Europe are reluctant to endorse tougher international regulations.

Everett Ehrlich, the president of ESC consulting, says President Sarkozy has some convincing to do.

Everett Ehrlich: The French don't have a major financial center within their purview. So as they'd say in wrestling, he's got a free move. And he can come up with whatever proposals without having skin on the table the way that the Brits or the Americans do.

The White House is telling reporters not to expect any major announcements.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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