Details of a draft communique from the G20 are starting to emerge in London, even before the summit begins.
World leaders will reportedly pledge to regulate major hedge funds for the first time, and a new oversight board will monitor the global financial system. The draft is also said to include a promise from leaders to cooperate on economic policies, and refrain from competitive devaluation of currencies. But it is still not clear if France and Germany’s demands for tough action on tax havens will be included. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said: “This is a golden opportunity, and we have to do a very thorough job. Regulations we don’t agree to here won’t be agreed on for the next five years.” With opinion divided on the wisdom of choosing more financial stimulus packages over tighter regulations, President Obama has tried to calm the waters. He said: “I know that the G20 nations are appropriately pursuing their own approaches and, as Gordon (Brown) indicated, we are not going to agree on every point. I came here to put forward ideas but I also came here to listen, not to lecture.” The British Prime Minister remains upbeat, insisting that consensus on the major issues are just hours away. Already Russia and the US seem to have reached some kind of consensus on the sidelines of the G20 summit: in their first meeting, they vowed to pursue a new deal to cut nuclear warheads.