World leaders are melding together their disparate views; coming together just in the time for a G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, according to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
"We have a strong consensus on the basic framework of objectives...you're gonna see us lay out more concrete timeframes to put those reforms in place," he told reporters Thursday.
From compensation practices to trade imbalances, the Secretary said any perceived differences are being washed away as he predicted strong agreement on the main goals of the meeting; financial stability and addressing global imbalances.
This consensus comes even with China, who was entangled with the US recently over US-imposed tariffs on imported Chinese tires. Geithner says the two countries are now on the same trade wavelength.
As US consumers curb spending in favor of saving, the Chinese are appropriately turning inward to domestic demand, he said, "If you look at what's happened in China, there has been a very, very substantial effort, similar to what we've done here, to provide very substantial support-- financial, fiscal measures, to promote recovery…They have an exceptionally good record of committing to very substantial changes and reform, acting on those commitments and delivering them…"
Geithner sees the US change in consumer habits as more than a passing fling, calling it a "fundamental shift," but one that's "healthy" and "necessary".
On differences with France over compensation practices, Geithner said he'd read there was disagreement but, "We actually are very close. I believe we're in the same place…[W]e want to have very strong standards to limit..risk..."
The US is in a good position to "lead by example", Geithner said, and reforms that are agreed to need to be reinforced and immediate, "We don't want to see these reforms take effect two years from now, we don't see them take effect next year. We want them to take effect now…"