Germany told Washington to sort out its own mess before giving advice to others after President Barack Obama said Europe's debt crisis was "scaring the world."
"It's always much easier to give advice to others than to decide for yourself," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble said, alluding to Washington's debt crisis, which prompted credit-rating agency Standard and Poor's to remove the U.S. government from its list of risk-free borrowers.
"I am well prepared to give advice to the U.S. government," Schauble said.
The White House and congressional leaders -- whose standoff over U.S. debt contributed to the S&P downgrade -- had no immediate comment on Schauble's remarks.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has been a key driver of plans to give Europe's sovereign-debt crisis bailout fund enough firepower to shore up Italy and Spain. The U.S. Federal Reserve is propping up the European banking system, including through dollar swaps, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported.
Obama told a town hall-style meeting in Mountain View, Calif., Monday Europe had "not fully healed from the crisis back in 2007 and never fully dealt with all the challenges their banking system faced. It's now being compounded by what's happening in Greece."
"So they're going through a financial crisis that is scaring the world. And they're trying to take responsible actions, but those actions haven't been quite as quick as they need to be," he said.
Schauble derided a European Commission idea to boost the European Union bailout fund, known as the European Financial Stability Facility, beyond its $600 billion lending limit to more than $2.7 trillion, perhaps by raising funds from the European Central Bank.
"I don't understand how anyone in the European Commission can have such a stupid idea," the Telegraph quoted Schauble as saying. "The result would be to endanger the triple-A sovereign-debt ratings of other member states. It makes no sense."