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Turning the Corner?

After months of bleak reports, Barack Obama said in a press conference recently that he saw “glimmers of hope” for the US economy, a remark that may come back to haunt him. But Obama is not alone in his optimism. Trevor Manuel, Gordon Brown and Obama’s economic advisor have all had good things to say, while in this production Tito Mboweni appears to have been cast as the Grinch.

Barack Obama -
President of the USA

“We’re starting to see glimmers of hope across the economy. We’re starting to see progress. And if we stick with it, if we don’t flinch in the face of some difficulties, then I feel absolutely convinced that we are going to get this economy back on track.”

Tito Mboweni -
South African Reserve Bank Governor

"We are in this thing for the next 3 to 5 years. If the slogan 'tighten your belt' is anything to go by, it's even more [applicable] for now. It's gonna be very difficult out there.

Whichever party takes over, they will have to confront this reality: there's little room for manoeuvre -- that agenda put out by G20, they'll have to follow that agenda, there's little option really.

If anybody asked for my advice, I'll tell them to try and stay the course."

Trevor Manuel -
Finance Minister

"Although growth may be interrupted for a period, these are powerful dynamics and they are not going to be reversed...we are not in a recession as we speak.

There is also an opportunity now to re-shape the international financial and developmental architecture to bring about both greater transparency and better resource flows to support the developing world and alongside the restructuring of trade and financial relationships we will begin to see better management of earnings disparities and, over time, greater fairness in labour market outcomes across the world."

Gordon Brown -
UK Prime Minister

"The only matters that I wake up in the morning thinking about is how we get through this [recession] and build a better future. There is a recognition that if we don't invest in the future -- in areas such as education and the environment -- we will not have the future people want to see."

Larry Summers -
Obama's top economic adviser

"The sense of a ball falling off a table, which is what the economy has felt like since the middle of last fall, I think we can be reasonably confident that that is going to end within the next few months, and we will no longer have that sense of a free fall."




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