January 23, 2021

G-20 Leaders Agree to Continue Stimulus Plans

MOSCOW — The leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies issued a joint statement on Friday saying it was too early to ease off government stimulus spending, in spite of recent positive economic news.

The opening lines of the statement, which was issued at the end of the Group of 20 meeting hosted by Russia, said that “strengthening growth and creating jobs is our top priority” with no mention of tackling deficits.

The leaders also approved a plan to crack down on multinational corporations that had been able to legally avoid taxes by shuffling profits and costs between various jurisdictions. The overhaul should, over time, shift some of the global tax burden away from individuals and small businesses to large, global companies. But the first step, a plan to share tax information, would only be implemented at the end of 2015, the statement said.

The economic tone of the statement was little changed from a draft issued in July after a summit meeting of finance ministers, suggesting that the world’s most influential leaders are still nervous about growth prospects despite a recent spate of positive economic news. Governments in the Group of 20 countries collectively account for about 90 percent of the world’s economic output.

“We agreed that it remains critical for the G-20 countries to focus all our joint efforts on engineering a durable exit from the longest and most protracted crisis in modern history,” the statement said.

Although not openly critical of austerity measures like the across-the-board federal budget cuts in the United States or the diminished state spending lenders have insisted on in Greece, the statement suggested that most governments considered the recovery too weak to risk reducing spending on unemployment benefits, job training or infrastructure.

The statement comes as the United States Federal Reserve considers pulling back from its stimulus efforts, which have helped keep interest rates low and spurred growth.

The expectation of a change in Fed policy is sending tremors through the global economy. Currencies like the rupee in India to the ruble in Russia have lost value. Emerging market bonds, too, have suffered.

The G-20 statement offered little consolation. It said central banks would better “communicate” their intentions but made no promises of easing the sell-off in countries with poorer investment climates.

The statement seemed in part a concession by developing countries like India, where the rupee has lost 17 percent of its value against the dollar this year, that they would have to fend for themselves. It referred vaguely to “collective and country specific measures” to improve the investment climates in such nations.

The statement, a senior United States Treasury official said in a telephone interview, was “a recognition that certain emerging markets that are seeing weakened investor appetite need to look at their policy reform agenda” and help themselves.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/07/business/global/g-20-leaders-agree-to-continue-stimulus-plans.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

European Trade Ministers Debate Terms of U.S. Talks

If the ministers can come to terms, their agreement to start the trans-Atlantic trade talks would enable Britain, a member of the European Union, to hail the official start of the trade round when the leaders of the Group of 8 biggest economies hold a summit meeting that gets under way Monday in Northern Ireland.

A trade pact would aim to cut tariffs and streamline regulations between Europe and the United States, which are already the world’s two biggest trading partners.

But before the talks can go ahead with the United States, the European Union’s 27 trade ministers, meeting in Luxembourg on Friday, must reach a unanimous deal to give the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, formal authority to start the negotiations.

The sticking point as the ministers convened Friday — France’s demand to exclude films, TV shows and other audiovisual services from the talks — could prompt the United States to require exclusions of its own. Such exclusions could limit the value of any eventual deal for both sides of the Atlantic.

France is arguing on behalf of Europe’s so-called “cultural exception” — in practice, a thicket of quotas and subsidies for audiovisual productions. Excluding such material from a trade deal would disappoint American technology and media companies, including the online movie distributor Netflix, which wants easier access to European markets.

Early this week, José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, told filmmakers in France that “the total exclusion” of audiovisual services from the negotiations “is not necessary.”

But France dug in its heels on Friday. Nicole Bricq, the French trade minister, told her 26 counterparts in Luxembourg that she had a “fundamental misunderstanding” of why most other European governments were opposed to the French stance.

“You want to call into question a fundamental principle that’s part of the European project — the cultural exception,” Ms. Bricq told her counterparts. “And you have chosen to do this with a partner that dominates the world in the areas of audiovisual production with the tendencies and temptations that go with power,” Ms. Bricq said, referring to the United States.

In a thinly veiled reference to the European outcry over recent disclosures that the National Security Agency in the United States had gained access to e-mail, Web searches and other online data from many of the biggest Internet companies, Ms. Bricq added that “current events unhappily remind us” of American influence over the online world.

A day earlier, Jean-Marc Ayrault, the French prime minister, threatened to veto the start of the trade talks if audiovisual services were not sufficiently protected.

In contrast to France, however, Britain, Spain, Sweden and Denmark want to move quickly to begin talks to open protected business like the transportation of goods along the United States coastline and American government procurement markets at both the federal and state levels.

“Huge benefits are expected from this initiative,” Jaime García-Legaz, the Spanish secretary of state for trade, and Vince Cable, the British secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, said in a joint message on Thursday.

“The economic situation in Europe obliges us to be proactive,” they said. “We have to provide our companies and professionals with the best possible conditions to provide their goods and services in both markets.”

But how much progress Europe and the United States can make is an open question. Tariffs are already low, and the main goal — harmonizing regulations — is likely to pose a huge challenge for negotiators.

Europeans are generally more likely to see a need to regulate new technologies, including genetically modified foods and online services that already are dominated by American companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft.

There are also questions about their differences over regulations on car safety, pharmaceuticals and financial derivatives.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/15/business/economy/european-trade-ministers-debate-terms-of-us-talks.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

News Analysis: European Union Leaders Agree to Slimmer Budget

BRUSSELS — As European Union leaders began their 14th hour of budget negotiations after a sleepless night, Valdis Dombrovskis, the prime minister of Latvia, took the floor early Friday to address what, for his Baltic nation of around two million people, is a vital question: Why should a Latvian cow deserve less money than a French, Dutch or even Romanian one?

In a system that requires unanimous approval of budget decisions, what Latvia wants for its dairy farmers — or Estonia for its railways, Hungary for its poorer regions or Spain for its fishermen — is no small matter. It is this cacophony of local concerns that explains why, despite Germany’s outsize role in decision-making, the European Union has such trouble reaching an agreement on something as basic as a budget.

And if simply agreeing to a budget is so daunting to member countries, it raises serious questions about the limits of the political and economic integration that have long been the master plan for champions of European unity.

After a failed attempt to set spending targets at a summit meeting in November and in a 24-hour marathon of talks this week, European leaders finally agreed late Friday to a common budget for the next seven years. The new budget, slightly smaller than its predecessor — the first decrease in the European Union’s history — reflects the climate of austerity across a Continent still struggling to emerge from a crippling debt crisis.

The colossal effort that was required to agree to a sum of about 960 billion euros ($1.3 trillion), a mere 1 percent of the bloc’s gross domestic product, exposed once again the stubborn attachment to national priorities that has made reaching agreements on how to save the euro so painful in recent years.

“We need to agree, and to agree we need to take into account all countries,” Mr. Dombrovskis said in an interview. The Latvian leader, who rushed to his hotel for a shave, shower and change of shirt in the middle of the night, described the ordeal as “not a pleasant experience,” but said, “It only happens every seven years, so we can tolerate it.”

But toleration is not the same thing as cooperation.

“What we’re seeing is that European integration is very important to European leaders as long as it doesn’t imply that someone has to be paying for someone else,” said Daniel Gros, director of the Center for European Policy Studies, a research organization in Brussels. “Sharing a European budget is not going to be the essence of the E.U., but crafting the rule books for open borders and stable banking systems will be.”

The spectacle of European leaders haggling through the night over amounts of money representing rounding errors in their national accounts demonstrated vividly their reluctance to make collective policies that erode their nations’ sovereignty.

“The budget negotiations are the most visible sign of member states winning and losing from the European Union,” said Hugo Brady, a senior research fellow at the Center for European Reform, a research organization. “The result is a totally parochial budget that is poorly adapted to rapidly changing times.”

Before it becomes law, the deal faces yet another hurdle in the European Parliament, which has the power to veto the budget.

Some of the most influential figures in Parliament have already signaled that they are prepared to reject a budget that would spend less on Europe in the years ahead.

Martin Schulz, the president of Parliament, said this week that he would not approve a budget that widened the gap between the cash governments pay up front and the somewhat higher amounts, known as commitments, that make up the overall budget.

Britain, Sweden and the Netherlands were among the Northern European nations that fought hard to reduce agricultural subsidies and increase spending on research and development to bolster the bloc’s global competitiveness.

Despite those efforts, farm spending remained the largest single portion of the budget, accounting for about 38 percent of the total — although that was down from about 42 percent in the previous seven-year budget period.

Galileo, a grossly overbudget and still unfinished satellite navigation project that aims to free Europe from its dependence on the United States’ global positioning system, escaped the cuts and is to receive 6.3 billion euros from 2014 to 2020.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: February 8, 2013

An earlier version of this article misspelled, on one reference, the last name of the Latvian prime minister. It is Dombrovskis, not Domobrovskis.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/09/business/global/european-union-budget-talks.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

European Leaders Back Banking Regulation but Delay Further Measures

BRUSSELS — European Union leaders pledged on Friday to take further steps to set up common banking rules for the bloc, but they delayed plans for a shared budget for the euro zone nations as pressure appeared to be easing on the single currency.

At the end of a two-day summit meeting, the leaders fully endorsed a deal, reached Thursday by European finance ministers, to place the region’s biggest banks under the supervision of the European Central Bank.

The leaders also agreed on the need to put in place by 2014 a central means for shutting down failing euro zone banks. That policy is aimed at stopping banks from accumulating so much debt that they put the finances of countries like Ireland and Spain at risk, in turn threatening the future of the euro.

But the leaders also appeared to take advantage of the relative calm in financial markets to avoid rushing toward any further central integration of banking in the region.

At a news conference Friday at the end of the meeting, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany brushed off suggestions that leaders were complacent. She acknowledged, however, the difficulties of pressing 27 different nations to adopt similar fiscal and economic systems in the middle of a period of low growth and high unemployment.

“On the one hand, we have accomplished a lot,” she said. “But we also have tough times ahead of us that can’t be solved with one big step.”

Analysts were mostly unimpressed by the results.

“The E.U. summit failed to deliver any big decisions,” Gizem Kara, an analyst with BNP Paribas, wrote in a research note Friday. “Certainly, some countries — Germany, in particular, with its election in September — may want to postpone major decisions as much as possible.”

Pursuing a more integrated banking framework could entail even more difficult negotiations than in the case of the banking supervisor because it implies that nations share some liability for failing lenders in other countries and that they give up some sovereign rights over how those decisions would be made.

As part of efforts to make it acceptable, the European leaders said the resolution system should receive significant financing by banks, in advance. A financial “backstop” to ensure failing banks do not endanger national finances should be “fiscally neutral over the medium term” and ensure that “public assistance is recouped by means of ex post levies on the financial industry,” the leaders said in their formal conclusions.

But other plans, like a bigger budget for the euro area, would have to wait amid continuing disagreement on what it should be used for.

France has continued to emphasize the need for a budget to counter economic shocks and better manage unemployment. But Germany wants the money mainly available for countries that carry out painful structural reforms.

Leaders agreed to establish a so-called solidarity fund for euro area countries, which would be limited to 10 billion to 20 billion euros ($13 billion to $26 billion). The fund would be linked to countries signing contracts in exchange for carrying out reforms.

“To me it seems rather intelligent to start with a specific fund dedicated to these contracts for employment, growth and competitiveness, more than waiting for an eventual budget for the euro zone that perhaps will never come,” the French president, François Hollande, said in a news conference Friday.

The current atmosphere of calm could still be broken by events in Italy, where the economy is contracting, debt levels are rising and Silvio Berlusconi, the scandal-tainted former prime minister, has threatened to try to reclaim his old office next year.

It remained unclear Friday whether Mr. Berlusconi would run and, if that were to happen, whether he would campaign on promises to reverse reforms put in place by Mario Monti, the current prime minister.

But leaders are aware that the re-emergence of Mr. Berlusconi — who attended a meeting of center-right parties in Brussels on Thursday — could destabilize markets.

Ms. Merkel praised Mr. Monti during a news conference on Friday, but she said it was not her role to endorse him as a potential candidate. “What Mario Monti and his government have done in recent months has greatly contributed to a growing confidence in Italy,” she said.

Ms. Merkel said she would “not interfere as the head of the German government in the question of who is a candidate in Italy and how the elections are structured there.”

Mr. Hollande also said he did not wish to interfere in Italian matters, though he did take a swipe at the former prime minister. “I don’t think Berlusconi is all that serious,” Mr. Hollande told journalists in Brussels. “With him, what’s true one day is not necessarily true the next.”

David Jolly contributed reporting from Paris.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/15/business/global/european-leaders-back-banking-regulation-but-delay-further-measures.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Dodd Calls for Hollywood and Silicon Valley to Meet

Christopher J. Dodd now fills Mr. Valenti’s shoes. But he stays out of those halls, thanks to restrictions on his ability to lobby Congress until 2013.

It just cost him a big one.

A major push by copyright holders — including those in the Motion Picture Association of America, of which Mr. Dodd is chairman — for a tough federal law to control foreign online piracy collapsed this week under stiff resistance from technology companies and their allies.

On Wednesday, as Web sites expressed opposition to the legislation, important lawmakers withdrew their support, leaving Mr. Dodd and his associates scrambling to find what could be salvaged.

In an interview Thursday, Mr. Dodd said he would welcome a summit meeting between Internet companies and content companies, perhaps convened by the White House, that could lead to a compromise. Looming next Tuesday is a cloture vote scheduled in the Senate, which appears to promise the death of the legislation in its current form.

“The perfect place to do it is a block away from here,” said Mr. Dodd, who pointed from his office on I Street toward 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

But the startlingly speedy collapse of the antipiracy campaign by some of Washington’s savviest players — not just the motion picture association, but also the United States Chamber of Commerce and the Recording Industry Association of America — signaled deep changes in antipiracy lobbying in the future. By Mr. Dodd’s account, no Washington player can safely assume that a well-wired, heavily financed legislative program is safe from a sudden burst of Web-driven populism.

“This is altogether a new effect,” Mr. Dodd said, comparing the online movement to the Arab Spring. He could not remember seeing “an effort that was moving with this degree of support change this dramatically” in the last four decades, he added.

 That shift was exposed this week partly because Mr. Dodd found himself in a political knife fight while being forced to sheathe his most powerful weapon: 36 years of personal relationships with a Congress in which he had served as a representative and then senator since 1975, before joining the motion picture association last March.

Under legislation passed in 2007, Mr. Dodd is barred from personally lobbying Congress for two years after leaving office. Hired as the consummate Washington insider to carry the film industry’s banner on crucial issues like piracy, Mr. Dodd ended up being more coach than player. He helped devise a strategy that called for his coalition to line up a strong array of legislative sponsors and supporters behind two similar laws — the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House, and the Protect I.P. Act in the Senate — and then to move them through the Congress quickly before possible opposition from tech companies could coalesce.

But slow pacing gave the Internet and free speech advocates time to wake up and mobilize, turning what might have been a relatively simple exercise for Mr. Dodd and his allies into a bitter struggle. The delays violated a cardinal rule among professional lobbyists, who generally believe the worst enemy of a proposed law is the legislative clock.

Mr. Dodd said that the entire industry was surprised by the intensity of the objections that arose in the last couple of weeks. “This was a whole new different game all of a sudden,” he said. “This thing was considered by many to be a slam dunk.”

Data shows that copyright holders and supporters of the bills outspent opponents substantially in the early stages of the debate. But by many accounts the tech industry has stepped up its lobbying efforts in recent weeks. New spending reports expected shortly indicate whether the balance has shifted.

The Senate vote on Tuesday will show whether opponents like Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, have succeeded in derailing that chamber’s version of the law.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=635f7c3b46304eac553c681e7271ad3b

Markets in Europe Little Moved by French Downgrade

Analysts said that markets were watching a flurry of activity in the coming days ahead of the European Union’s next big summit meeting, which is to be held Jan. 30 in Brussels. Much of the attention is focused on Greece, where talks on the amount by which private-sector lenders would write down the value of their Greek bond-holdings broke down last Friday.

Greek officials were traveling to Washington on Monday for debt talks, according to Reuters, while the so-called troika of international lenders — officials from the E.U., the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank — was due to return to Athens on Tuesday. The Institute of International Finance, which was negotiating on behalf of private holders of Greek debt, was to resume talks by midweek.

The Greek prime minister, Lucas Papademos, told CNBC television in an interview
broadcast Monday that “the next few weeks are particularly challenging.” Officials must both conclude discussions with private investors while formulating “a new economic adjustment program for the period 2012-2015” in light of Greece’s worsening budget figures, so as to meet conditions set by the troika for new bailout loans.

Mr. Papademos said the goal was to have both worked out “over the next two to three weeks.”

“The progress or otherwise of these negotiations will probably dictate how the market trades over the next few weeks,” said Gary Jenkins, a director of Swordfish Research, according to The Associated Press.

Also Monday, the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, was in Madrid for talks with the Spanish government, while Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council, was meeting with Prime Minister Mario Monti of Italy in Rome.

The decision by Standard Poor’s late Friday to cut France’s AAA credit rating by one notch had been widely expected. The agency cited a deteriorating economic situation and disappointment with leaders’ efforts to address the euro crisis. S.P. also cut Austria, Italy and six other European countries.

Moody’s Investors Service, a rival to S.P., on Monday said it was maintaining its own rating of France at AAA for the time being, with the results of a review that is currently under way to be announced before April.

In afternoon trading, the Euro Stoxx 50 index, a barometer of euro zone blue chips, and the FTSE 100 index in London were little changed.

French 10-year bonds were unchanged at 3.05 percent. Italian 10 year bonds were yielding 6.65 percent, up 5 basis points, while Spanish 10-years were yielding 5.16 percent, up 1 basis points. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percent.

Reuters cited unidentified traders as saying the European Central Bank had intervened in the secondary bond market again, buying Italian and Spanish securities to relieve some pressure on yield.

German 10-year bonds, the European benchmark, were unchanged, trading to yield 1.76 percent.

U.S. equity index futures fell modestly. Wall Street markets were closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.4 percent on Friday.

The dollar was mixed against other major currencies. The euro ticked up to $1.2658 from $1.2656 late Friday in New York, while the British pound fell to $1.5303 from $1.5317. The dollar fell to 76.80 yen from 76.97 yen, but gained to 0.9535 Swiss francs from 0.9524 francs.

Asian shares were broadly lower. The Tokyo benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average fell 1.4 percent. The Sydney market index S.P./ASX 200 fell 1.2 percent. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index fell 1 percent and in Shanghai the composite index declined by 1.7 percent.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/17/business/global/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

France Among Euro Nations Expected to Get Debt Downgrade

The actions would be the strongest signal yet that Europe’s sovereign debt woes were far from over and would pose fresh political challenges for politicians, including President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, as they try to stabilize the problems on the Continent, now in their third year.

A downgrade by a single ratings agency would have an immediate, though not devastating, impact on the countries. S.P. warned in December that the agency was reviewing 15 European Union countries for lower ratings because of the crisis. Germany and the Netherlands, which were on the original list, were not expected to receive a downgrade Friday, news agencies reported.

The rumors came at the end of a week in which Prime Minister Mario Monti of Italy and Mr. Sarkozy warned that the crisis could deepen if steps were not taken to stoke growth. Both delivered their messages to Chancellor Angela Merkel in her offices in Berlin, prompting the German leader to admit for the first time that the harsh program of austerity she has been pushing on the euro zone was not a cure-all for the crisis.

S. P. issued its warning last month after all three leaders held an emergency European summit meeting aimed at establishing a consensus for better fiscal discipline in the euro monetary union.

But the bid to reassure the financial markets about the European Union’s resolve quickly fizzled, as investors fretted that the years-long efforts to strengthen the foundations of the euro currency club could be overwhelmed in the meantime by a looming recession in most of Europe.

In addition to France, S. P. last month named Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and Luxembourg as countries that could lose their AAA rating. Last summer, Standard Poor’s lowered the AAA rating of United States long-term debt by one notch, citing a threat to America’s finances from political gridlock in Washington.

A downgrade would make it costlier for each country to pay down its debt, as investors demand that the government pay higher borrowing costs to compensate for the loss of its risk-free status.

In addition, the new European rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, which is designed to prevent the contagion from spreading to large countries like Italy and Spain, would likely see its borrowing costs rise. France is one of its major financial backers, and if the country is downgraded, that could make the fund less effective in stemming the euro crisis.

Steven Erlanger contributed reporting.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=2480446208534edf2ea916a9b7be90a3

David Cameron to Address British Parliament Over Europe Treaty

Mr. Clegg, a Liberal Democrat, told the BBC that the decision by the Conservative Mr. Cameron to veto proposed European treaty changes left Britain in danger of being “isolated and marginalized” in Europe. He added that if he had been in charge, “of course things would have been different.”

Mr. Cameron deployed his power of veto at a European Union summit meeting in Brussels, after failing to secure what he called vital safeguards for the health of London’s financial sector. But with the 26 other members of the European Union either agreeing to the proposed plan outright or saying they would put the matter before their Parliaments, Mr. Cameron’s veto on Friday left Britain alone on the margins at a time of great upheaval on the Continent, with the European Union struggling to resolve its financial crisis.

“This is the first veto in history not to stop something. The plans are going right ahead. It was a phantom veto against a phantom threat,” David Miliband, a former foreign secretary from the opposition Labour Party told the BBC on Monday. “David Cameron didn’t actually stop anything because the other 26 are going on and the provisions of the treaty would not have weakened our rights and freedoms one iota.”

The Labour opposition is likely to echo those complaints in Parliament, seeking to dent the enthusiasm of the dominant Conservatives. But the most serious political consequences of the veto concern the strained relationship between Mr. Cameron and Mr. Clegg.

On Friday, Mr. Clegg appeared to support Mr. Cameron’s decision, although he warned the Conservative Party’s anti-Europe wing against being too triumphant about the problems facing the European Union. But his stance hardened over the weekend, and on Sunday he appeared to have backtracked, or at least tried to finesse his explanation to show that was in line with his party’s pro-Europe principles.

In fact, Mr. Clegg told the BBC that when Mr. Cameron called him at 4 a.m. Friday with the news that Britain had vetoed the plan: “I said this was bad for Britain. I made it clear that it was untenable for me to welcome it.”

Mr. Clegg has already lost the confidence of many Liberal Democrats by appearing to betray the party’s position when he has supported the government on other issues, like increasing the amount of tuition colleges can charge.

After the summit meeting, many prominent Liberal Democrats went further than Mr. Clegg.

A former party leader, Paddy Ashdown, described Mr. Cameron’s veto as a “catastrophically bad move” and said it would do nothing to shield London’s financial district, the City, from future European regulations. “In the name of protecting the City, we have made it more vulnerable,” he said.

Lord Ashdown also warned that the move had alienated Europe in a way that would haunt the United Kingdom.

“The anti-European prejudice of some in the Tory party,” he said, “has now created anti-British prejudice in Europe.”

Mr. Clegg, a former member of the European Parliament, said he would now “fight, fight and fight again” to make sure Britain remained an influential force inside the European Union. He said he would resist “tooth and nail” efforts by some Conservatives to take the country completely out of the union, particularly since the United States has found Britain a useful conduit to Europe.

“A Britain that leaves the E.U. will be considered irrelevant by Washington and a pygmy in the world, when I want us to stand tall in the world,” he said.

Mr. Clegg criticized Conservatives who had hailed Mr. Cameron as a “British bulldog” for his tough line on Europe.

“There’s nothing bulldog about Britain hovering somewhere in the mid-Atlantic, not standing tall in Europe, not being taken seriously in Washington,” he said.

To which one Conservative member of Parliament, Mark Pritchard, retorted, “Better to be a British bulldog than a Brussels poodle,” The Associated Press reported.

Mr. Cameron, meanwhile, was welcomed as a hero by his party’s anti-Europe right wing. “Up Eurs,” was the headline in Rupert Murdoch’s populist, anti-European tabloid newspaper, The Sun, along with a photograph of Mr. Cameron in a Churchillian bowler hat, holding two fingers up to Europe — the equivalent of an American middle finger.

“He did what I would have expected Margaret Thatcher to have done,” Andrew Rosindell, a Conservative member of Parliament, said approvingly.

But Kenneth Clarke, the Justice secretary and the Conservatives’ most prominent pro-Europe member, said in a radio interview that Mr. Cameron’s veto was a “disappointing, very surprising outcome.” He said he would be listening carefully to the prime minister’s statement in Parliament on the matter on Monday.

As upset as he is, Mr. Clegg said he did not want the coalition government to collapse.

“It would be even more damaging for us as a country if the coalition government was to fall apart,” he said. “That would cause economic disaster for the country at a time of great economic uncertainty.”

Alan Cowell contributed reporting.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=47567f4193bdd21c16813696f94fe1f0

Global Regulators Name 29 Banks Critical to the Financial System

The list of banks drafted by the Financial Stability Board, a regulatory task force of the Group of 20, included 17 lenders from Europe and eight from the United States.

Leaders at the Group of 20 summit meeting endorsed a core capital requirement surcharge starting at 1 percent of risk-weighted assets and rising to 2.5 percent for the biggest banks, which would be phased in over three years starting in 2016. The board did not say which capital bracket each of the banks would fall into.

The banks will have to meet resolution planning requirements, called “living wills,” by the end of next year. National authorities can extend this requirement to other banks at their discretion, it said.

The list of institutions will be reviewed annually each November.

Following are the 29 global systemically important financial institutions identified by the board: Bank of America, Bank of China, Bank of New York Mellon, Banque Populaire, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Commerzbank, Crédit Agricole, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Dexia, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ING Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Lloyds Banking Group, Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho, Morgan Stanley, Nordea, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, Société Générale, State Street, Sumitomo Mitsui, UBS, Unicredit Group and Wells Fargo.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/05/business/global/global-regulators-name-29-banks-critical-to-the-financial-system.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Italy Agrees to Allow I.M.F. to Monitor Its Progress on Debt

In an extraordinary move, Italy said it had invited the fund to scrutinize its books every three months to make sure a $75 billion dollar austerity package is carried out according to plan. A team from the European Commission will also travel to Rome next week to start monitoring Rome’s efforts, the president of the group, Jose Manuel Barroso said.

Should Italy get swept up in the debt contagion, it would threaten to overwhelm even the latest bailout vehicle being assembled, the $1.4 trillion European Financial Stability Facility, taking Europe’s debt crisis to a new level and potentially weighing on the global economy.

Italy is struggling with a whopping $2.5 trillion debt load, second only to Greece. Even that backstop seemed to be in doubt on Friday after the summit meeting of the Group of 20 nations broke up with little apparent progress on resolving Europe’s debt crisis, aside from the decision to have the I.M.F. monitor Italy’s fiscal progress. Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, admitted that Europe’s leaders had so far failed to interest any of the Group of 20 nations to invest in the new facility — a major goal of European leaders.

Mrs. Merkel said cash-rich countries like China and Russia wanted to see more guarantees that they would not be throwing good money after bad before making any commitments. They are particularly keen to have the I.M.F. oversee any such fund to guard against losses on their investments.

A separate effort to bring more I.M.F. money to the table has also failed to get off the ground, at least for now, though officials are said to be looking to raise money through a sort of trust fund. Separately, the group has discussed setting up lines of credit to help small countries hurt by the crisis.

Fears that European leaders still have not nailed down the details of a grand plan designed to contain the euro crisis have caused Italy’s borrowing rates to spike higher in recent days to levels approaching those that forced Greece, Portugal and Ireland to ask for bailout packages from their European partners.

Yet, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s shaky coalition government is having trouble implementing a number of painful austerity measures passed recently to reduce the nation’s deficit and its mountain of debt, which is the second highest in the euro zone after Greece.

Further complicating matters, his government is hanging by a thread, and faces challenges from his main coalition party, the Northern League, which has already said it does not agree with all the structural changes adopted by Rome to bring the nation’s finances under control.

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany have been pressuring on Mr. Berlusconi to fulfill Italy’s financial commitments, but to date the Italian prime minister has been able to muster only a letter outlining his government’s intentions.

Publicly, European officials are presenting Italy’s decision to bring in the I.M.F. as purely voluntary. “We didn’t put Italy in a corner,” Herman van Rompuy, the European Commission president, said. “They themselves decided to invite the I.M.F..”

But few countries in the world are eager to surrender their sovereignty to the fund, and Italy appears to be no exception. Behind closed doors, said one European Union official, leaders encouraged Mr. Berlusconi to bring in the group’s auditors to demonstrate to world markets that Italy is making a credible effort to cut its deficits and make changes designed to restore growth, which is currently close to non-existent.

It is an extraordinary step for the fund, which typically only monitors countries that are recipients of bailouts. But the I.M.F. appears to be increasing its clout and presence in Europe as the crisis grows. Among other things, its managing director, Christine Lagarde, wants the group to oversee a part of the proposed European bailout fund, which is seeking to lure financial contributions from Japan, China, Russia and other cash-rich countries.

The I.M.F. is already overseeing the bailouts of three Western European countries, Ireland, Portugal and Greece, a scenario that would have been all but unthinkable just a few years ago.

The announcement of the I.M.F.’s surveillance in Italy comes just two days after the Greek prime minister, George A. Papandreou, called for a referendum on a bailout deal for Greece, throwing financial markets into a tailspin and sowing panic among leaders of the Group of 20 industrial nations who have been searching for ways to stem the contagion.

Steven Erlanger contributed reporting.

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