24 October 2008

Europe and Asia Seek a Consensus Ahead of Washington Meeting

Sounds as though a consensus is forming, without the United States, to set the agenda for the upcoming meeting in Washington on November 15.

One step closer to a world currency, and a world government.
Tonight I am sick at heart for the damage that has been done to the world over the last eight years. We have squandered the sacrifice of a generation.

ἐδάκρυσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς

The Economic Times
Leaders call for new rules for financial system

25 Oct, 2008, 0644 hrs IST

BEIJING: Asian and European leaders agreed that the rules guiding the global economy should be rewritten and the International Monetary Fund should be given a lead role in aiding countries hit hardest by the financial crisis.

On a day when stock markets plunged around the world, leaders from nations including China, France, Germany and Japan said Friday that they were moving toward consensus ahead of next month's meeting of the 20 largest economies in Washington.

``Europe would like Asia to support our efforts and would like to make sure that on the 15th of November we can face the world together and say that the causes of this unprecedented crisis will never be able to happen again,'' French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in remarks to the opening ceremony of the Asia-Europe Meeting in Beijing.

A draft of a meeting statement on the crisis seen by The Associated Press called on the IMF and similar institutions to act immediately to help stabilize struggling banks and staunch the flood of red ink on regional stock bourses.

``Leaders agreed that the IMF should play a critical role in assisting countries seriously affected by the crisis, upon their request,'' the draft said.

If adopted, the statement would be among the strongest calls yet for a leading role in the crisis for the Washington-based fund, long known as the international lender of last resort.

Countries as varied as Hungary, Ukraine, Iceland and Pakistan have already turned to the IMF for help bridging their liquidity crunches.

The draft statement also states that leaders agreed to ``undertake effective and comprehensive reform of the international monetary and financial systems.''

Among the first to publicly endorse the proposal was Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, head of the world's second-largest economy. Aso ``strongly supports'' a critical role for the IMF, Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kazuo Kodama said.

The biennial gathering, known as ASEM, has no mandate to issue decisions and participants differ widely on their views toward international cooperation and intervention by global bodies. Free-trading Singapore and economic powerhouse Germany are attending, along with isolated, impoverished Myanmar and landlocked, authoritarian Laos.

Responses to the crisis have varied widely so far. Europe has already approved a plan under which the 15 euro countries and Britain put up a total of $2.3 trillion in guarantees and emergency aid to help banks.

Asian financial systems are less shaky, having had less direct exposure to the toxic sub-prime mortgages that are wreaking havoc on US and European markets. Showing a notable lack of urgency, South Korea, China, Japan and the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations recommitted themselves to an $80 billion emergency fund to help those facing liquidity problems - to be established by next June.

China and other Asian economies are, however, expected to take a major hit from a drop in exports and foreign investment.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed,
and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned...