G20 finance ministers plan for swift action in European debt crisis

Christopher Werth Oct 17, 2011
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G20 finance ministers plan for swift action in European debt crisis

Christopher Werth Oct 17, 2011
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Steve Chiotakis: G20 finance ministers met in Paris over the weekend, and they came up with a plan for European leaders to come up with a credible idea
to solve the debt crisis — in one week.

Reporter Christopher Werth has more now from London.


Christopher Werth: U.S. Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner left the meeting saying Europe’s plan has “all the right elements.” But he essentially said the devil will be in the details.

That includes how to magnify the strength of the bailout fund from roughly $600 billion now, to what some reports indicate could be somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 trillion.

Geithner favors using the power of the European Central Bank to backstop European banks and limit the damage from bad Greek debt. But Carsten Brzeski of ING says European leaders aren’t willing to go that far.

Carsten Brzeski: If you had the firepower of the ECB, it would probably be the most convincing instrument. But right now I think there is still so much opposition from the ECB, from the German government, to to allow it.

Another option being discussed is giving a bigger role to the International Monetary Fund. Whatever the plan looks like in the end, the most important thing is whether the financial markets see it as going far enough.

In London, I’m Christopher Werth for Marketplace.

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