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NUMERO 22 - 26/11/2014

 U.S. Department of the Treasury-Remarks of Secretary Jack Lew at the World Affairs Council of Seattle on Building a Stronger Global Economy

Thank you, Jackie, for that introduction, and thank you all for coming. Let me also thank the World Affairs Council of Seattle for putting today’s event together. The World Affairs Council has been helping to advance our understanding of global events for decades, and what you do is critical to workers, business leaders, and policymakers. An important anniversary passed this summer with little notice. It was 70 years ago – in July 1944 – that representatives of 44 allied nations met in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, with the goal of building an international architecture that would underpin the post-war economic order. The result was a roadmap for global economic relations and the birth of two new institutions – the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Having come together with common purpose to defend against grave threats in war, and with still strong memories of the Great Depression, the allies were committed to translating victory over adversity into enduring and shared prosperity. This legacy contributed to the extraordinary rise in global incomes and expansion of global trade in the decades to follow. The financial crisis of 2008-2009 was not the cataclysm of a world war and the Depression that preceded it. But it represented the biggest economic shock since, and it also required the nations of the world to rally together to confront and ultimately defeat a common threat. When the leaders of the Group of 20, the largest developed and emerging economies, met in London in April 2009, we committed individually and collectively to deploy all policy tools to combat the crisis. Working together we bolstered the resources of multilateral institutions to support that effort, which helped stabilize the world economy, halt the global recession, and reestablish the basis for economic growth. Unfortunately, after coming together with common purpose to end the crisis, we have been less successful at jointly meeting the other objective of the September 2009 Pittsburgh Summit: achieving ―strong, sustainable, and balanced‖ growth. As the G-20 leaders prepare to gather again in Australia this week, global growth remains slow and uneven. Unemployment rates are stuck near record levels in several countries, and where growth is the slowest, economies face the real risk that protracted, cyclical weakness will pull down long-run potential growth, as unemployed workers lose skills needed to drive a productive economy in the future... (segue)

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