U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said Europe is “clearly moving” toward adopting a set of measures to stem the continent’s debt crisis.
“They’re talking about a much more comprehensive package, a much more forceful package and measures of backstop for sovereign governments and the preventive recapitalization of banks,” Geithner said in an interview on CNBC today. “Those are the kinds of things they need to do. Of course, the hard part is still ahead.”
Geithner is in Paris attending a meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers today and tomorrow that is seeking ways to end Europe’s two-year crisis. Global stocks rose today as outlines of a package emerged, including higher bank capital levels, deeper investor losses on Greek bonds and increased firepower for bailouts.
Geithner said the International Monetary Fund has “very substantial uncommitted resources” to help in the crisis. “Europe as a whole has very substantial resources to help manage their problems.”
He said the U.S. would continue to press for a solution.
“Europeans have asked us for advice,” Geithner said. “Through the IMF we have a direct stake in the choices they’re making. We’re going to be as forceful and persuasive as we can.”
On other issues, Geithner reiterated his view that China should allow its currency to appreciate more rapidly, which would help the global economy. He also said recent economic data from around the world have been “somewhat encouraging,” even as growth remains too slow.
A Commerce Department report today showed that retail sales in the U.S. rose more than forecast in September, easing concern slumping confidence and scant hiring will derail the biggest part of the economy.
The 1.1 percent advance, the largest since February, followed a 0.3 percent gain for August, a stronger performance than previously estimated, the report showed. The median forecast of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 0.7 percent rise in purchases last month.
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