Alumni from Princeton's Class of 1970 might have noticed a familiar face next to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at last week's G20 summit in London: Jim Flaherty ’70, Canada's minister of finance, was on hand to discuss remedies for the global economic crisis. Flaherty, a longtime member of Canada's Parliament, has been the finance minister since 2006. Like the other leaders at the G20 summit, he acknowledged that significant challenges lay ahead, but he did share some promising news with his constituents back home. "Our banking system is the most sound in the world," he told Canada's CTV News. "We're the envy of other banking systems."

Flaherty's assessment has some statistical backing: Canada ranked No. 1 in a list of the world's soundest banking systems, according to an October 2008 report from the World Economic Forum, a Geneva-based nonprofit. (The United States, by comparison, ranked 40th in soundness but No. 1 in overall competitiveness.) After the summit, Flaherty outlined monetary and fiscal policies that he believes will help Canada "accelerate" out of its recession.

(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)

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