Putin calls financial crisis a 'perfect storm'

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called the world financial crisis a "perfect storm" whose destructive powers were multiplied worldwide, and urged economic rivals to work together to find an exit route.

The sometimes combative Putin struck a sober tone in the keynote address at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday, where he was indirectly critical of the U.S.

"The pride is gone," said Putin, referring to Wall Street hubris. His own country has fallen hard over the past year, seeing its currency plunge and once massively rich magnates lose billions.

Putin said economists and politicians should always be ready for such a crisis, saying it was as inevitable as the Russian winter.

The crisis differs from the Great Depression of the late 1920s and the early 1930s because it "has affected everyone at this time of globalization," he said. "Regardless of their political or economic system, all nations have found themselves in the same boat."

He refrained from directly blaming the United States for the crisis — but pointed out that just a year ago at Davos, American delegates emphasized the U.S. economy's fundamental stability.

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