G20 London Summit > Photo Gallery

G20 talks focus on backing national rescue plans

Updated: 2009-03-14 20:24

HORSHAM, England -- G20 finance ministers were expected on Saturday to paper over differences on how to tackle the economic crisis and instead reassure countries pushed to the brink that they can count on help.

The ministers were meeting near London to prepare for a leaders' summit on April 2 but prospects for tangible progress this weekend were limited by splits on what emphasis to place on government spending and regulation.

Finance ministers, central bank governors and heads of institutions pose for a family photograph during a break in the G20 Finance Ministers meeting at a hotel, near Horsham, in southern England March 14, 2009.  [Agencies]

Nor was there any more clarity from the United States on how it plans to clean up banks' toxic assets, which many say is essential to get the world economy moving again.

That shifted the primary focus to securing pledges that the International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank and other agencies have the financial firepower to come to the rescue of countries in difficulty.

"We need a commitment from countries that they will do whatever is necessary and as for long as necessary to support their economies," said Alistair Darling, Britain's finance minister, host to the talks at a luxury countryside hotel.

Perhaps mindful of the sudden and massive exodus of money that occurred during the Asian financial crisis of the 1990s, Darling added:

"We really must take action to stop damage being done to the emerging economies, who are seeing money coming out of their systems."

The IMF has spent close to $50 billion bailing out countries in eastern Europe in recent months and is asking for its funding for rescue duties to be doubled to $500 billion, while the Asian Development Bank is also hoping for more ammunition.

China, India, Russia and Brazil backed the call and officials said a communique to be issued by the G20 as a group later in the day was expected to cover similar ground.

"It is imperative that multilateral financial institutions should expand their lending to offset the massive decline," said a statement by China, India, Russia and Brazil, the four emerging economic powers known as the BRIC nations.

They and the rest of the G20 accounts for over 80 percent of the world's output, or gross domestic product, which is expected to shrink this year and by more than any year since the 1930s as a financial crisis that spilled from the United States in 2007 hits confidence, activity, trade and jobs worldwide.

   Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next Page  

Photo Gallery