G20 finance ministers are to keep economic support measures in place, describing recovery as “uneven.”
Rich and developing countries, meeting in Scotland, committed to a timetable for a new system of keeping an eye on each others’ economies. And they heard British calls for a global levy on banks to fund future bailouts. “We agreed that we would put in place mechanisms to ensure that we monitored what is happening in different countries in different parts of the world so that we could build on things that work,” said British Finance Minister Alistair Darling. “We agreed, too, that we would ask the IMF to look for problems that might be developing and the IMF, too, will be doing further work on the possibility of introducing a transaction tax of the sort referred to by the Prime Minister earlier today. He made it clear that this was part of a series of measures to ensure financial stability.” The transaction tax idea however received a generally lukewarm response. Addressing delegates, Britain’s Gordon Brown said climate change was a test of global cooperation every bit as stern as the world financial crisis. But, with developing countries reluctant to even discuss the topic, little progress was made, just a month before the crucial Copenhagen summit gets underway.