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Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus Comments on Coordinated Central Bank Action


Washington, Nov 30 -

“The action of the Federal Reserve announced this morning to extend existing bilateral swap arrangements with European and other foreign central banks is a recognition of the interconnected nature of the global economy. Since early 2005, I have stated my concern that the interconnectedness of the global economy makes it necessary for U.S. policymakers to recognize we are not immune from the economic problems in the rest of that world and that we must consider not only our own actions but the actions of other policymakers as we work to advance America's economic interests.  Particularly in the case of Europe, it is in our national interest to see that region recover because it is such a large and important market for the goods and services produced by American companies and American workers.  What we as policymakers need to advocate are the actions that best serve the needs of the United States, our economy and, most importantly, our citizens.  Today's central bank action should not and cannot absolve European policymakers from the need to resolve their own problems, which arise from economic, cultural, and sovereignty issues and profligate government spending.  In Europe there is an historical problem of overly generous retirement benefits, which allow workers in some countries, particularly Greece, to leave the productive economy years before not only their neighbors in Germany but the vast majority of workers in the United States.  We need to recognize that in our country, unsustainable labor agreements led to the failure of GM and, currently, AMR, which both had to file bankruptcy in order to restructure their labor agreements.  If the U.S. is to continue to support Europe, then Europeans must be willing to make the same kind of painful choices to reflect today's economic reality.”