Lew Says Crisis-Level Global Coordination Isn’t Necessary Now

  • Growth needs to strengthen where economies are weak, he says
  • Urges amicable, pragmatic EU-U.K. talks after Brexit vote

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said policy makers around the world need to boost weak growth, though the situation isn’t dire enough to warrant coordinated efforts on par with those during during the global financial crisis.

“I don’t think this is a moment that calls for the kind of coordinated action that occurred during the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009,” Lew said in comments provided by the Treasury to reporters. “It really is a moment where we each need to do what we can to ensure that where growth is soft it gets stronger, and that prospects for the medium- and long-term are improved.”

Lew is traveling to a meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers this weekend in Chengdu, China, where policy makers will grapple with the fallout from Britain’s surprise vote to leave the European Union. The International Monetary Fund earlier this week lowered its outlook for 2016 global expansion for a fourth time and said risks to the outlook have increased significantly since the Brexit vote.

Speaking about Brexit, Lew said that “the best outcome is one that maximizes the integration of the U.K. and Europe and -- because it’s likely to be a process that, at best, goes well beyond weeks or months -- to have the nature of the discussion to be characterized by amicable, pragmatic engagement where the focus is on maximizing integration and cooperation.”

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