President George W. Bush got a second bloc of world leaders to endorse comprehensive action to remedy the global financial crisis. But his successor, Barack Obama, is already setting the coming economic agenda.
The formal transfer of power doesn’t take place until Jan. 20, but don’t tell that to financial markets. They are already taking their cues from Obama and his team.
Wall Street surged by nearly 500 points on Friday after reports that Obama would pick Timothy Geithner, the well-respected head of the New York Federal Reserve, to be his Treasury secretary.
Obama was to formally present his economic team on Monday and elaborate on his weekend call for a sweeping economic stimulus to save and create 2.5 million jobs over the next two years.
It is not that Bush did not have his own successes in Lima at his eighth and final summit of the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
The leaders of Pacific Rim countries endorsed the action plan drafted a week ago in Washington by the Group of 20, representing the world’s richest nations and major developing countries such as China, Brazil and India.
The G-20 and the APEC leaders are now both on record pledging to cooperate on economic stimulus measures, overhaul financial regulation and avoid the temptation to erect new trade barriers during the current downturn.
The APEC leaders boldly declared an end date for the current troubles, saying, “We are convinced that we can overcome this crisis in a period of 18 months.”