Special G-20 Issue on Financial Reform

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What President Sarkozy Wants To Make Of His G-20 Presidency

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As France takes over the helm of the G-20 later this week, President Nicolas Sarkozy starts a year-long term as president of an organization that, in his words, “foreshadows the planetary governance of the 21st century.” That phrase, uttered when world leaders closed ranks to avert economic catastrophe in 2008 and 2009, sounds over-ambitious today,  as new splits have emerged between nations about the way ahead – notably on trade imbalances, currency manipulation and debates over the U.S. insistence on pursuing economic stimulus in the face of strong objections in Europe and Asia.

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Austerity Measures in the EU - - A Country by Country Table

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According to the European Union’s Maastricht criteria, EU member states may not have a budget deficit that exceeds three percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or a national debt that exceeds of sixty percent of the GDP.  Listed below are the EU states’ 2009 government budget deficits as percentages of GDP, their official predicted future government budget deficit as a percent of GDP.  Also listed is the national debt as a percentage of GDP for 2009.
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Post-Crisis Financial Reform: A Trans-Atlantic Scorecard

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Three years after the worst financial-economic crisis since the 1930s began; a new international financial, regulatory and fiscal architecture has emerged. Although incomplete, not yet implemented and inadequately coordinated between major countries, the new structure is due to be ratified at a summit of G-20 countries in Seoul on Nov. 11 and 12. The leaders will naturally put a positive spin to the new measures, and indeed much has been accomplished.

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Crisis-Exit: “Finnish Paradigm” Appeals To Slovenia

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Will the current slump end up producing “creative destruction” of the sort that has propelled capitalism forward in previous crises? The term was coined by Austrian economic historian Joseph Schumpeter to posit that the collapse of old structures can launch a new cycle in which economies arise again, phoenix-like, from their ashes. And, yes, it can offer a guideline for policy-makers seeking ways out of the current global economic predicament, according to Slovenia’s Finance Minister Franc Križanic.

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A Brave Thrust Against the Finance Lobby in Brussels

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EU Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier has really thrown down the gauntlet to the financial industry’s domineering lobby, not only in the European Union but, by extension, in the U.S. as well because American banks are so entrenched in Europe.

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