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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 15, 2008
Fact Sheet: Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy
President Bush And World Leaders Agree On The Washington Declaration
To Address Current Financial Crisis
Today, President Bush and world leaders gathered for the first in a series of meetings to discuss efforts to strengthen economic growth, deal with the financial crisis, and to lay the foundation for reform to help to ensure that a similar crisis does not happen again. Since the outbreak of this crisis, the world's leading nations have coordinated actions more closely than ever before. Thanks in large part to these decisive measures, once frozen global credit markets are beginning to thaw and businesses around the world are gaining access to essential short-term financing. This problem did not develop overnight, and it will not be solved overnight. No single nation will be able to fix this crisis, but with continued cooperation and determination, it will be solved as long as we are steadfast in our commitment to reforming our financial sectors and maintaining free and open markets.
The Leaders Agreed On Common Principles To Guide Financial Market Reform:
Strengthening transparency and accountability by enhancing required disclosure on complex financial products; ensuring complete and accurate disclosure by firms of their financial condition; and aligning incentives to avoid excessive risk-taking.
Enhancing sound regulation by ensuring strong oversight of credit rating agencies; prudent risk management; and oversight or regulation of all financial markets, products, and participants as appropriate to their circumstances.
Promoting integrity in financial markets by preventing market manipulation and fraud, helping avoid conflicts of interest, and protecting against use of the financial system to support terrorism, drug trafficking, or other illegal activities.
Reinforcing international cooperation by making national laws and regulations more consistent and encouraging regulators to enhance their coordination and cooperation across all segments of financial markets.
Reforming international financial institutions (IFIs) by modernizing their governance and membership so that emerging market economies and developing countries have greater voice and representation, by working together to better identify vulnerabilities and anticipate stresses, and by acting swiftly to play a key role in crisis response.
Our Nations Will Continue To Take The Right Steps To Get Through This Crisis
The leaders approved an Action Plan that sets forth a comprehensive work plan to implement these principles, and asked finance ministers to work to ensure that the Action Plan is fully and vigorously implemented. The Plan includes immediate actions to:
The leaders instructed finance ministers to make specific recommendations in the following areas:
The leaders agreed that needed reforms will be successful only if they are grounded in a commitment to free market principles, including the rule of law, respect for private property, open trade and investment, competitive markets, and efficient, effectively-regulated financial systems. The leaders further agreed to:
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