President Bush: accounting must show 'true value'

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14 Nov 2008

In a speech on financial markets and the world economy yesterday in New York, US President George W Bush said that the purpose of tomorrow's meeting of the G20 Heads of State is to address the current crisis, and to lay the foundation for reforms that will help prevent a similar crisis in the future.

President Bush said that discussions among the Heads of State and leaders of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, and the Financial Stability Forum will focus on five key objectives:

  • understanding the causes of the global crisis,
  • reviewing the effectiveness of our responses thus far,
  • developing principles for reforming our financial and regulatory systems,
  • launching a specific action plan to implement those principles, and
  • reaffirming our conviction that free market principles offer the surest path to lasting prosperity.

President Bush said, 'While reforms in the financial sector are essential, the long-term solution to today's problems is sustained economic growth. And the surest path to that growth is free markets and free people.' He specifically cited the need of accounting standards for financial instruments that tell investors their 'true value':

One vital principle of reform is that our nations must make our financial markets more transparent. For example, we should consider improving accounting rules for securities, so that investors around the world can understand the true value of the assets they purchase.

Click to view the full text of President Bush's speech (PDF 67k).

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