Obama and the G-20

By Jim Wallis 3-24-2009

Next week, leaders of the G-20, the 19 countries with the largest economies and the European Union, will meet in London. Today, in an op-ed that appeared in 31 papers around the world, President Barack Obama challenged the world and specifically the countries of the G-20 not to return to the status quo.

While these actions can help get us out of crisis, we cannot settle for a return to the status quo. We must put an end to the reckless speculation and spending beyond our means; to the bad credit, over-leveraged banks and absence of oversight that condemns us to bubbles that inevitably bust.

He reminded us of how closely we are all connected and that now, more than ever, we are all in this together.

We have learned that the success of the American economy is inextricably linked to the global economy.

The leaders who gather at the G-20 summit will have monumental tasks to confront, and bold economic leadership is needed. This leadership cannot be separated from strong moral leadership that takes into account the 52 million people pushed into poverty by this crisis already, and the additional 130-155 million who fell into poverty in 2008 because of rising food and fuel prices. As the president specifically noted:

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