On a day when the price of gold soared past $1,400 an ounce and oil hit high for the year, President Obama found himself in India Monday on the defensive over the Federal Reserve’s decision last week to print more money so it can buy up $600 billion in government bonds — a move Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke insists will stimulate an economy stuck in neutral.
While the White House traditionally steers clear of commenting directly on Fed actions, Obama insisted that “the Fed’s mandate — my mandate — is to grow our economy. And that’s not just good for the United States, that’s good for the world as a whole.”
Obama’s comments came in the face of stepped up criticism from China, Russia and Germany over the Fed’s decision and just days ahead of the all-important G-20 meeting of the world’s leading economic powers. The summit has been pitched as a chance for leaders of the countries that account for 85 percent of world output to prevent a currency fight that could endanger the global economic recovery.