Fed Global Backlash Grows: China and Russia Join Germany in Scolding; Obama Defends Move as Pro-Growth

ResistNet.com By JONATHAN WEISMAN NEW DELHI—Global controversy mounted over the Federal Reserve's decision to pump billions of dollars into the U.S. economy, with President Barack Obama defending the move as China, Russia and the euro zone added to a chorus of criticism.

Evan Ramstad discusses preparations for Thursday's G-20 meeting, where controversy has grown over the Fed's recent stimulus moves, which China and other nations have protested. Also, Elizabeth Williamson discusses the race to finish a free-trade agreement between the U.S. and South Korea.

Mr. Obama returned fire in the growing confrontation over trade and currencies Monday in a joint news conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, taking the unusual step of publicly backing the Fed's decision to buy $600 billion in U.S.Treasury bonds—a move that has come under withering international criticism for weakening the U.S. dollar.

The Fed is independent, and the White House by longstanding tradition has strained to avoid any appearance of collusion or conflict. Mr. Obama said the administration doesn't comment on particular actions of the U.S. central bank, before adding: "I will say 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."

The prospects of the Fed flooding the financial system with money helped drive gold above $1,400 an ounce on Monday. The precious metal, which investors often buy as protection against inflation, settled at a record $1,402.80 per troy ounce. Other assets, such as U.S. stocks and oil, drifted back slightly on Monday after getting a big boost from the Fed's announcement last week. The dollar fell against the yen, while rising against the euro as worries about Europe's debt problems returned.

The G-20 summit that begins Wednesday night in Seoul is shaping up as a showdown between exporting powers, such as Germany and China, and nations such as the U.S. that are struggling to emerge from recession and high unemployment.

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