Stakes high for G20 financial summit

Nov. 2, 2008 at 8:34 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- The upcoming G20 summit in Washington, aimed at reforming the international financial regulatory system, will present major challenges, analysts say.

The leaders of countries from around the world will gather in two weeks to hammer out agreements on how to reshape international institutions to prevent the kind of global financial disruptions experienced this year. But already there are major disagreements that will stand in the way of an accord, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

Expectations are high, said Howard Davies, director of the London School of Economics and former head of Britain's financial regulator.

"At the moment, I don't think it would be acceptable for the major leaders to come back from this conference and to go to their respective parliaments or whatever and say, 'Yes, we rearranged the deck chairs a little bit,' because this is genuinely a Titanic crash," he told the Post.

Europeans are pushing for broad new powers for international financial regulators, while the United States is concerned about co-opting its independence. There are also lame-duck leaders such as U.S. President George Bush who don't feel the same urgency to find immediate results, the Post said.

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