Tim Geithner: 'Stepping Back Too Quickly' From Global Financial Crisis Is a Mistake

ABC News' David Kerley and Sunlen Miller report:

TORONTO -- Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner today warned governments of “stepping back too quickly” in the hopes that the global financial crisis is over.

"[The] mistake some governments make over time is to, in a sense, step back too quickly. In the hope that, on the hope that it’s over,” Geithner said while briefing reporters before the G-20 meetings in Toronto. “And what we want to do is to continue to emphasize that we’re going to avoid that mistake by making sure that we recognize that you know it’s only been a year since the world economy stopped collapsing, it’s only been a year of positive growth in the United States.”

Geithner said that it is “within the capacity” of the leaders at the G-20 meetings in Toronto to make sure that a double-dip recession is not a possibility.

No doubt that's a message to the European countries, which are emphasizing deficit-cutting measures over additional stimulus spending, Geithner said, adding that balancing growth vs. deficit reduction is imperative.

“We all recognize that as part of an effective strategy to bring this world out of crisis, we have to make sure that people understand that we’re going to take the steps necessary to bring down our deficits overtime," Geithner said. "But we also need to make sure that we’re growing. We have to find the right balance.”

Geithner touted that the United States comes to this weekend’s G-20 meetings from a position of strength on financial regulatory reform.

“That gives us a very strong position to try to pull the world to these higher standards, and we will work very hard to achieve that. That will be a very critical test.”

Using his hands to demonstrate one well ahead of the rest, Geither said, “In a way we’re here, and much of the rest of the world is here.”

-- David Kerley and Sunlen Miller

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