Lesley Wroughton
August 17, 2008

Once again, the brain-dead American public will be fleeced, this time by the Treasury Department. Now that Russia has decimated the Georgian economy after its ethnic cleaning foray into South Osettia, the U.S. government will make sure the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development don’t lose a penny and Wall Street has its investment returns socialized.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is exploring ways to assist Georgia’s economy including how global financial institutions can help limit economic damage caused by the conflict with Russia, a senior U.S. Treasury official said Friday.

Assistant Treasury Secretary Clay Lowery said the situation in Georgia was “fluid” and it was hard to know how much harm was done to the economy and investor confidence since the crisis erupted over the breakaway South Ossetia region.

“We want to be supportive of the Georgia economic situation going forward and that includes bilateral and multilateral needs,” Lowery said in an interview with Reuters.

While the White House has flexed its political muscle to force Russia to pull troops out of the region, the U.S. Treasury has tried to reassure investors over Georgia’s young democracy.

“The most important thing is for the fighting to stop (but we also) want to ensure there is confidence so that investor flows continue,” Lowery said.

He said the U.S. wanted to make sure that the conflict did not take away from the impressive economic progress and reforms in Georgia that produced China-like growth levels of 11 percent in 2007 despite Russian trade and transit barriers.

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