Barack Obama voiced optimism for a global deal at this week's G20 summit in London and downplayed talk of a split between the US and Europe, in his first interview with a foreign publication, the Financial Times. Saying that "we need stimulus and we need regulation," the president told the FT the G20 countries should commit to further deficit spending, although he acknowledged that public mistrust of Wall Street made that politically hazardous.
"If voters perceive that it’s a one-way street," said Obama, "then it is harder to make an argument for further intervention." The president added that he agreed with Angela Merkel on the need for further regulation of financial markets, although he appeared to depart from the German chancellor's position by saying that G20 countries "will do what is necessary to promote trade and growth." Obama leaves for London tomorrow and will then travel to France, the Czech Republic, and Turkey.