Peer Steinbrück, the German finance minister, has joined the growing list of politicians with a view on the current economic crisis.

His analysis differs markedly from that expressed by President Bush on Wednesday. ‘The financial market crisis is above all an American problem’, Steinbrück told the Bundestag (German Parliament) yesterday.

He added that ‘the current turmoil was allowed to develop because of a reckless pursuit of short-term profit and huge bonuses’. Policy makers had lacked the ‘political backbone’ to stand up to ‘bankers’ greed’. And Steinbrück expects the results of the current crisis to be far-reaching. ‘The U.S. will lose its status as the superpower of the world financial system, and the world’s financial system will become multi-polar’.

As a result, he sees a bigger role for European banks and sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East and Asia. He also expects greater regulation of the financial system, as proposed earlier this week by Nicolas Sarkozy, French President. Separately, Sarkozy again warned that ‘the crisis isn’t over, and the consequences will be serious’.


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