Even the socialist president of Brazil is lecturing Obama on fiscal policy.
US President Barack Obama glares at Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff during their press conference as she lectures him on fiscal policy. (AFP /Brendan Smialowski)
How embarrassing. Even the the most radical of world leaders are lecturing Obama on economics.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff complained about U.S. monetary policy and expressed concern that sanctions against Iran could backfire in a meeting with President Barack Obama on Monday, highlighting strains between the Western Hemisphere’s two biggest democracies.
Rousseff said low interest rates and other expansionist policies in wealthy nations have created a glut of global liquidity, which in turn has the unintended effect of damaging growth in poorer countries such as Brazil.
She also raised concerns with Obama that sanctions against Iran could fuel tensions in the Middle East and cause a spike in oil prices, threatening the global economic recovery, sources told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Her comments punctuated a generally cordial White House visit that yielded some modest advances in cooperation on aviation and technology sharing, but also exposed clear differences on trade, economic policy and foreign affairs.
“Expansionist monetary policies … ultimately lead to a depreciation in the value of the currencies of developed countries, thus impairing growth outlooks in emerging countries,” Rousseff told reporters in the Oval Office, as Obama looked on.
Obama, who spoke first, struck a more conciliatory tone, calling Rousseff a “good friend.” He congratulated Brazil for making “extraordinary progress” in reducing poverty.
That’s really sad. Even the socialist president of Brazil has reduced poverty while under Obama poverty has soared in the US.
UPDATE: Here’s the video:
Hat Tip William