Manmohan’s ‘calming effect’ on Bush amid financial meltdown

September 26th, 2008 - 11:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew York, Sep 26 (IANS) In the midst of the worst financial meltdown to hit the US in recent times, the one person US President George Bush wanted to spend time with was Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who always had a “calming and serene effect” on him. “Bush said that in the middle of all this, the one person that he wanted to spend time with was the prime minister for his calming and serene effect,” Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said in New York after talks between Manmohan Signh and Bush.

Manmohan Singh profusely thanked his American host for finding the time to spend with him and host a dinner for him at the White House in the middle of his pre-occupation with the financial situation, said Menon.

An economist by training and a former finance minister of India, Manmohan Singh impressed upon Bush the need for greater surveillance of multilateral institutions and timely warnings that could avert such financial crisis.

Bush met Manmohan Singh in Washington immediately after holding discussions with Republican presidential candidate John McCain and his Democratic challenger Barack Obama on fast-tracking the $700 billion bail-out package to prevent Wall Street from financial collapse.

The financial crisis also figured prominently in Manmohan Singh’s discussions with World Bank president Robert B. Zoellick where he spoke about “the role of multilateral organisations in dealing with and giving warning about such crisis before they happen”, Menon said.

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