Speaking in New York, ahead of next week’s G20 summit in London, Brown told assembled financiers that new international banking standards and bonuses would be set by world leaders to prevent any further abuse of power.
Following Fred Goodwin’s £700,000 pay-out scandal, the PM said that values such as “honesty, integrity and working hard” may have been absent from the financial system in recent years.
“The principles and values we apply in our everyday lives, you have got to ask did we apply them to the running of our financial institutions?,” he continued. “Markets depend on morality in the end. We are building for the first time not just a global economy but a global society.”
The president of Citibank, the directors of Morgan Stanley, the president of Nasdaq and the president of Goldman Sachs were all in attendance as Brown warned that a failure to bring honesty to financial dealings could result in disaster. This is an “epoch-making era,” he said.
The Prime Minister went on to explain that Britain is using three distinct strategies to tackle recession. “We are doing it by interest rates being incredibly low, we are doing it by our fiscal stimulus and we are doing it by, what is probably not yet understood by the public, one of the quickest and most effective ways of getting money into the economy, and that is quantitative easing.”
Brown also insisted that Britain would do “whatever is necessary to restore growth”. Despite Mervyn King’s comments that further fiscal stimulus measures may not be affordable, the PM said: “If you put the question to Mervyn King, he will say that you’ve got to be ready to take the action necessary to restore growth.”