The leaders of both Russian and China slammed the U.S. economic system, blaming it for leading the world into the current financial crisis.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao both expressed their desire for cooperation with President Obama but attacked the capitalism of Wall Street.
In blunt language, Putin said it was "dangerous" for the world to rely on the U.S. dollar and both leaders called for major reserve currencies to be better reguated.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
The Russian leader mocked U.S. businessmen who he said had boasted at last year's Davos meeting of the U.S. economy's fundamental strength and "cloudless" prospects. "Today, investment banks, the pride of Wall Street, have virtually ceased to exist," he said...
While Mr. Wen never named the U.S., his critique of its failings was as sweeping as Mr. Putin's. The financial crisis, he said, was "attributable to inappropriate macroeconomic policies of some economies and their unsustainable model of development characterized by prolonged low savings and high consumption; excessive expansion of financial institutions in blind pursuit of profit" -- and other excesses.
Putin's other remarks were more conciliatory, focusing on his desire for cooperation with Obama on disarmament, energy security and the economy.
The New York Times reports:
"We can't afford being isolationist or economically selfish," Mr. Putin said. Describing the world financial crisis as a "perfect storm," he added: "We are all in the same boat."