- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009

World leaders will invest more than $2 trillion in an unprecedented effort to revive the global economy and will meet again in the fall to extend the framework they developed in London, President Obama said Thursday at the end of the G-20 summit.

“So many have lost so much,” Mr. Obama said in a closing press conference. “We needed to act quickly. … and this alone is not enough.”

The president also said the world leaders developed a two-fold plan that focuses on economic growth and reform of financial markets, including the largely unregulated hedge funds.

Mr. Obama said world leaders will use the money to rid banks of toxic debt, which will free credit markets and result in more loans to everybody from corporations to students needing money for their education.

Mr. Obama also said leaders agreed to increase by three-fold the International Monetary Fund’s lending capacity and to “reform and expand” the agency so that it can help Third World countries survive and eventually contribute to the global economy. The group is expected to receive about $500 billion.

Mr. Obama said he was successful “outside the G-20” context in improving relations with Russia, China, South Korea and India.

Beyond saying leaders agreed to help stabilize Afghanistan, Mr. Obama made no mention of his talk earlier in the day with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in which they vowed the international community would make a “stern, united” response if North Korea proceeds with a planned, long-range rocket launch.

The United States and its allies say the planned launch is a cover for testing long-range missile technology.

On financial reform, the president said leaders will seek to end the “bubble and bust” cycles that are now crippling national economies, which are increasingly connected.

The president repeatedly emphasized the plans were a joint effort, not the will of the United States alone.

“I came here to forge a consensus rather than dictating,” he said.

Still, Mr. Obama said, the U.S. economy is still the largest in the world and the country is still a world leader.

Mr. Obama also called the meeting historic and unprecedented.

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