375 words - September 18, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
"Our financial system is now safer, stronger, and more resilient than it was before the crisis," said US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on the occasion of the 5-year anniversary of the spectacular bankruptcy of US-based global financial services firm Lehman Brothers which had started the most devastating financial crisis since the Great Depression.
According to Secretary Lew, Lehman Brothers had been the tip of the iceberg. The financial crisis was "the culmination of many factors, including excessive risk taking, the accumulation of too much debt, and an outdated regulatory structure," he said. However, and mostly because of President Barack Obama's swift emergency response and reforms, the financial situation stabilized and the US economy started growing again, Mr. Lew said.
In remarks on September 16, President Obama remembered that by the time he took the oath of office (January 2009), the US economy was shrinking by an annual rate of more than 8 percent and US businesses were shedding 800,000 jobs each month. Thanks to the Recovery Act, the downward spiral stopped and ultimately saved US industries and got the US economy growing and creating jobs again, President Obama congratulated himself about.
Though the latest assessments by financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have shown the developed countries are back on the trail of growth – though unemployment rates still remain at a record high in the European Union (EU) – the decelerating growth and the emergence of potential systemic difficulties in the BRICS, particularly in Brazil, Russia and India, could spoil the party next year. "Recent indicators show that advanced economies have begun to gather momentum (but) emerging market economies are now slowing after several years in which they led global growth," said the IMF African Department's chief Antoinette Monsio Sayeh.
According to a number of "contrarians," the "many factors" mentioned by Secretary Lew have not disappeared, quite the reverse. "The global economic crisis has not ended, (...) slowdown was indicated in emerging economies," warned Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the St. Petersburg G20 summit. Let alone the yet-to-be-reached agreement between the Obama administration and the Congress over raising the debt ceiling and eliminating uncertainty about the US's ability to pay its bills.
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