Global leaders worry economy at critical point

AP News
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Posted: Sep 22, 2011 6:40 PM
Global leaders worry economy at critical point

The world's top financial and political leaders on Thursday expressed concerns about the global economy and policies aimed at avoiding recession.

Below are some of their comments:

"The current economic situation is entering a dangerous phase. This heavy debt of sovereigns, households and banks (represents) risks that could actually suffocate the recovery." - Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund.

"I still think a double-dip recession for the world's major economies is unlikely, but my confidence in that belief is being eroded daily." - World Bank President Robert Zoellick.

"An uncontrolled default or exit of Greece from the euro zone would cause enormous economic and social damage, not only to Greece but to the European Union." - Olli Rehn, the European Union's top economic official.

"There's some justified frustration with respect to the lack of political decisiveness in Europe. We have been talking about Greece as finance ministers since January 2010. The markets are reacting. There's a need for an exercise of political will, of political decision-making in Europe." - Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty

"It appears to us that they're taking actions because they don't believe the political system can do what needs to be done. Frankly, I think that's enabling the political process rather than forcing the political process to do what it should do. And that's to deal with our deficit and our debt, which is imperiling jobs and imperiling the future for our kids and grandkids." - House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, responding to a question about whether he has lost confidence in Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and the Fed's ability to help the economy.