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Geithner's Regulations, Meeting Medvedev, and Bashir's Travels

March 27, 2009

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Arab News (Saudi Arabia)

  • Bashir's Trips: In an editorial, the paper expresses understanding for Arab and African countries that allow visits from the president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, despite the arrest warrant issued against him by the International Criminal Court.

Australian

  • Geithner's Plan: Commentator Alan Wood is worried about Timothy Geithner's plan to buy up toxic assets. The risk, he says, is that the price that key U.S. banks want for their bad assets will be higher than the price the U.S. financial institutions, to which Geithner is offering a huge bribe to buy the assets, are willing to pay.

Boston Globe

  • Toxic Assets: William Fowler of Northeastern University writes that when it comes to dealing with "toxic assets," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner might take a lesson from the first person to hold his office - Alexander Hamilton.

 Business Daily (Kenya)

  • Kenya's Economy: In an editorial, the paper says Kenya now has the dubious distinction as East Africa's most unstable economy. And that, it believes, is bad news for a country that is the biggest economy in the region.

Business Day

  • Zuma's Charges: In an editorial, the paper says African National Congress President Jacob Zuma may finally have overreached in his determined bid to avoid having to go to court to answer corruption charges arising from his relationship with convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik.

Economist

  • Obama's Presidency: In an editorial, the Economist writes of Barack Obama that he may at last be getting a grip. But he still needs to show more leadership, at home and abroad, it judges.
  • Afghan Strategy: In a further editorial, on Afghanistan, it says that no strategy will work unless Obama makes it completely plain to both his allies and his enemies that he is not giving up.
  • Geithner's Scheme: Also in an editorial, the Economist says that Timothy Geithner's toxic assets scheme will not work unless banks are forced to sell their problem loans.

Financial Times

  • Obama Warning: In an editorial, the paper warns President Obama to be careful in what he says about the U.S. economy. Just one tin-eared expression of optimism could be enormously damaging, it says.
  • Meeting Medvedev: Also in an editorial, the paper looks forward to next week's meeting in London of Presidents Obama and Medvedev, and says the two men must do their utmost to ease the tensions of the recent past.

Guardian

  • Financial Pain: Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University writes that if the world flunks the task to build a new financial architecture, the pain will strike most cruelly in the world's poorest countries.

Independent (UK)

  • China Tensions: In an editorial, the paper says next week's G-20 summit is already exposing tensions between the United States and China. It is already possible, it adds, to catch glimpses of the economic and military challenge China will eventually present and the epic shifts that could result.

International Herald Tribune

  • Afghan Strategy: Karl Inderfurth of George Washington University and James Dobbins of the Rand Corporation write that Afghanistan will be able to secure its territory and population only with the active collaboration of its more powerful neighbors. Beginning now to build such a consensus is the ultimate Western exit strategy, they say.

Mail and Guardian (South Africa)

  • Dalai Lama: In an editorial on South Africa's refusal to allow entry to the Dalai Lama, the paper writes that it stands in slack-jawed amazement at the reprehensible decision to refuse a visa to the gentle bald man in the saffron sarong.

New York Times

  • Netanyahu: In an editorial, the paper says Israel's next prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will have to overcome his hawkish reputation and take the right steps toward seeking peace with the Palestinians.
  • Financial Crisis: Op-ed Columnist Paul Krugman writes that he is in disagreement with the Obama administration over the nature of the financial crisis and its approach to solving it. I don't think the Obama administration can bring securitization back to life, and I don't believe it should try, he says.
  • Afghanistan: Op-ed Columnist David Brooks, who has been in Afghanistan, writes of his initial skepticism of America's ability to transform the country, but says the people who work there make an overwhelming case that it is worth sending the sons and daughters of the United States to achieve a functional society there.

News (Pakistan)

  • U.S. and Terror: Masooda Bano, a research fellow at Oxford University, writes that U.S. policies towards Pakistan since the 9/11 attacks have been the cause of the rising militancy there, and that it can be stopped more effectively if the United States were to stop its "war on terror".

Times of India

  • India Congress: In an editorial, the paper says the forthcoming general election in India is going to be a make or break election for the governing Congress party, and wonders if the party can rebuild itself from the grass roots this late in the day.

Times of London

  • China's Call: Wang Qishan, vice-premier of China, calls for international cooperation in the face of the global economic crisis. To overcome the current difficulties, the international community should enhance coordination on macroeconomic policies, he writes.
  • IMF Reform: In an editorial, the paper calls for reform of the International Monetary Fund. It should assist countries in financial turmoil, it says, but there must be greater representation by emerging economies.

Wall Street Journal

  • Bank Regulation: Francis Diebold and David Skeel of the University of Pennsylvania note the proposal in Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's regulatory reforms which gives federal institutions authority to take control when investment banks are in trouble. They believe this expansion of powers is unwise.
  • Korea's Banks: South Korea's President Lee Myung-Bak writes that the world can learn from his country's experience of solving a banking crisis in the late 1990s.

Washington Post

  • Mexico Drugs: Op-ed Columnist Eugene Robinson writes that Hillary Clinton deserves high praise for acknowledging that the United States bears responsibility for the drug-fueled violence that is sweeping Mexico.
  • Financial Risk: CFR's Sebastian Mallaby considers the challenge facing Timothy Geithner as he attempts to regulate the financial sector: if you want to reduce the risk that finance poses to the real economy, you have to limit the amount of risk that financiers take in the first place, he says.
  • Obama's Problem: Op-ed Columnist Michael Kinsley writes that one problem with the Obama financial rescue plan is that it is almost as complicated and obscure as the problem it is designed to solve.

Washington Times

  • Socialist Obama: The Washington Times takes the view that the Obama administration is on the fast track to socialism with the announcements by Timothy Geithner that he wants to limit salaries on Wall Street, and introduce what it calls massive new regulations on the trading of financial assets.