HEADLINE: Germany: EU backs blanket financial regulation
CAPTION: European leaders backed sweeping new regulations for financial markets and hedge funds at a summit Sunday in Berlin as politicians and nations scrambled to tame the global economic crisis. (Feb. 22)
European leaders backed sweeping new regulations for financial markets and hedge funds at a summit Sunday in Berlin. The effort comes as politicians and nations scramble to tame the global economic crisis.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted heads of state and finance ministers from Europe's largest economies. They worked to establish a common European position on economic reforms before an April summit of the Group of 20 nations.
(GERMAN/ ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR:
"WE ADMIT THAT ALL FINANCIAL MARKETS, PRODUCTS AND PARTICIPANTS INCLUDING HEDGE FUNDS AND OTHER PRIVATE POOLS OF CAPITAL WHICH MAY POSE A SYSTEMATIC RISK MUST BE SUBJECTED TO APPROPRIATE OVERSIGHT OR REGULATION. THE NECESSARY DETAILS MUST BE WORKED OUT AND BE PART OF THE PLAN. WE HAVE TO CREATE A SYSTEM OF SANCTIONS FOR THOSE WHO ARE UNCOOPERATIVE, LIKE TAX SHELTERS OR REGIONS WHERE UNTRANSPARENT DEALS ARE MADE.")
Merkel said the group admits that markets and products that pose a systematic risk must face oversight or regulation.
Top officials from Britain, France, Germany and others agreed on seven key points.
But the call for blanket global regulation is sure to be resisted by the financial industry and may not be welcomed completely by other G-20 members.
The leaders also agreed to strengthen the IMF and to support doubling its funds. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that international institutions need some 500-billion dollars and called for a "global New Deal."
(SOT: GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER)
BY OUR COOPERATION AND OUR DETERMINATION TO ACT TOGETHER WE CAN NOT ONLY INJECT THE CONFIDENCE THAT IS NECESSARY IN THE WORLD ECONOMY BUT ALSO BUILD THE ECONOMIC ACTIVITY THAT IS NECESSARY FOR THE JOBS, FOR THE SECURITY THAT THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD WANT."
Other key points included adopting a "sanctions mechanism" to safeguard against tax havens and urging banks to keep larger reserves of capital.
(NICOLAS SARKOZY, FRENCH PRESIDENT:
"AT THE REQUEST OF EUROPE THERE HAS BEEN THE WASHINGTON SUMMIT. THE WASHINGTON SUMMIT MADE A DIAGNOSIS AND CREATED BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR MEASUREMENTS. FURTHERMORE, ANOTHER ARRANGEMENT WAS MADE FOR THE SECOND OF APRIL IN LONDON. WE ALL WANT LONDON TO BE A SUCCESS AND WE ALL KNOW THAT THIS IS A LAST CHANCE. WE CAN'T AFFORD THE LONDON SUMMIT TO BE A FLOP.")
French President Nicolas Sarkozy says the world can't afford the planned summit in London in April to be a flop.
President Barack Obama and other top world leaders are scheduled to attend.
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