President Obama — in a departure from President Bush — has made a point during his G20 visit to emphasize that the economic crisis demands a collective global response. Indeed, in a phone call with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last October about the financial collapse, Rudd told Bush that the best response should involve the broader G20, including China — while Bush wanted response to be handled within the G7. Bush, however, reportedly didn’t have a clue what the G20 was:
Informed sources have confirmed the discussion took place on a speaker telephone with a Rudd staffer taking notes.
After the President explained the pressure from Europe for a G7-brokered action on supporting the credit sector and reforming regulation, Rudd immediately insisted the G20 was the solution.
Rudd was then stunned to hear Bush say: “What’s the G20?”