Gordon Brown, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and wife Sarah, were in Washington this weekend to launch his U.S. book tour. The Browns were greeted by top politicos, global financial leaders and media types at a stately affair held at the Jefferson Hotel. The party was co-hosted by long-time friends Connie Milstein, owner of the Jefferson Hotel and her husband, J.C. de La Haye St. Hilaire, and Tammy Haddad.
Brown charmed the A-plus crowd, including the Obama Administration’s David and Susan Axelrod, Austan and Robin Goolsbee, Ambassador Elizabeth Bagley, Bill Burton and Laura Burton Capps, Stephanie Cutter, Bruce Reed, Eric Lesser and Katie McCormick Lelyveld, as he had a little fun describing his post PM life as well as giving his assessment of the global economy.
Here are Brown’s comments as reported by Politics Daily on AOL —
“In brief remarks, Brown — among the first world leaders to rescue troubled banks at home in 2008 — warned that “for the time in 200 years, America and Europe are being out-produced, out-invested, out-traded and out-exported” by other nations, and that the solution to the global crisis was to tap into a billion middle class consumers in Asia who in 10 years will have twice the buying power as Americans.”
Brown repeated that same message on ABC News “This Week with Christiane Amanpour” saying that while Asia and China had to consume more, “Europe’s got to reform its markets. America is prepared to invest in the future, while doing its fiscal consolidation. And that would mean, in my view, that you would have this exit strategy from a crisis based on high growth and high employment and not low growth and what I fear is high unemployment for a decade.”
The former prime minister — who earlier in his career spent a decade as finance minister — warned that the immediate danger “is that people cut back in education, which is vital for the future, that people cut back on their international contacts, because they think the solutions lie in national answers to their problems, when they lie in global cooperation. And I think the danger is, you have a ’30s-style protectionism where people relapse into currency wars, as we’re seeing, or trade wars or banning takeovers that have got cross-border ramifications, or simply a protectionism in of the mind, where anti-immigrant sentiment gets to the point that we’re not really talking to each other in a way that means that we have a coordinated world.”
A crowd formed around media celebrities including new CNN host Piers Morgan and his wife Celia Walden, Arianna Huffington and Glee’s Matthew Morrison.
Notables in the crowd: Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director of World Bank; Ambassador Capricia Marshall; Alan Greenspan and Andrea Mitchell; Terry McAuliffe; Rima al Sabah, Bob Barnett and Rita Braver; Bruce and Bonnie Reed; Robert and Ellen Bennett; Hilary Rosen and Kate Harold; Sam and Danielle Feist; Dan and Rhoda Glickman; Shelby Coffey; Anita McBride; Sally Quinn; NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, and the BBC’s Rome and Amy Hartman.
“Beyond the Crash” is published by Free Press/Simon & Schuster.