Associates Breakfast with Klaus Scharioth, German Ambassador to the U.S.
December 4, 2008

Santa Monica

The financial crisis was topic number one during a recent Milken Institute Associates breakfast meeting with Klaus Scharioth, the Federal Republic of Germany's ambassador to the United States.

"It can only be solved if the Europeans and Americans work closely together," he said. "We can't spend time blaming each other."

Scharioth said that more transparency is needed, recalling his sense of shock upon hearing that bankers simply didn't know the size of their own losses. He called for new "international rules of the road" to provide greater oversight, and suggested that the Financial Stability Forum may be a starting point for building such a framework. "The expertise is there, but we would have to enlarge the circle of nations," he stated.

Scharioth was encouraged by the constructive dialogue that was begun at the global economic summit recently held in Washington. He predicted that concrete solutions will begin to emerge at next April's G-20 summit.

Even in today's difficult economic climate, Germany is increasing its spending on education and human capital, especially in scientific research and development. Scharioth observed that Germany has embraced the concept of "brain circulation" in the new global economy and is welcoming greater numbers of foreign students to its universities.

During his talk, the ambassador also touched on the state of the auto industry, Iran's nuclear ambitions and the need to fully engage with Russia on matters of international security. He expressed optimism that the Obama administration will usher in a new era of increased global cooperation.

This event was open only to Milken Institute Associates. To join the Associates or to learn more about the program, please contact Mindy Silverstein, director of the Associates, at (310) 570-4634 or