Britain calls for global finance summit

16:12, 15 October 2008
Ukraine
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For global talks among the world`s top economies

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called on Wednesday for global talks among the world`s top economies this year to reform the world`s financial system, AP reported.

He said a global summit could be held as soon as November or December involving the United States, European nations and emerging economies such as China and India. It would also aim to relaunch stalled global trade talks.

"I believe there is scope for agreement in the next few days that we will have an international meeting to take common action ... for very large and very radical changes," he told reporters before meeting other EU leaders for talks on the financial crisis.

Brown said an update to global bodies like the International Monetary Fund and creating better international rules governing financial markets was "urgently needed so that we can restore confidence" in the global financial system.

The British leader said he would present a paper to his EU counterparts calling for the reform.

Brown has long called for the Washington-based IMF to monitor global markets to prevent crises.

"The IMF has got to be rebuilt as fit for purpose for the modern world. We need an early warning system for the world economy," he said.

Speaking in Berlin ahead of the summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also renewed her calls for tougher international rules governing financial markets, arguing for the IMF to have a stronger role in supervising banks.

"All this will be at issue in the upcoming international conferences ... (leading) up to a G-8 meeting with emerging countries this year at the level of heads of state and government," she said.

Brown said creating a new international financial architecture should be "an immediate task" to restore confidence in markets. He said he wants a group of supervisors from major nations to monitor the world`s 30 largest financial institutions.

"We now have global financial markets but what we do not have is anything other than national and regional regulation and supervision," Brown said. "If we are going to sort out global financial problems ... we need better ways of doing this."

Founded in the aftermath of World War II, the 185-nation International Monetary Fund became the international economy`s fire brigade in the 1990s, providing loans to countries in financial trouble from Thailand to Turkey, while requiring dire belt-tightening measures in return.

It has faced an identity crisis in recent years because it has lent less to developing nations, reducing its influence over the global economy. The past week has changed that, with Iceland, Hungary and Ukraine now considering IMF bailouts.

AP

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