Global leaders to vow action to ease recession

Business Materials 15 November 2008 00:02 (UTC +04:00)

World leaders vowed to work together to overhaul the financial system as they headed to Washington on Friday for a summit on wresting the global economy from recession and avoiding future meltdowns, Reuters reported.

With host President George W. Bush in his final two months in office and President-elect Barack Obama not participating, hopes for a conclusive summit were low. Nevertheless, European leaders pressed for commitments to prop up sagging economies.

"We need to agree on the importance of coordination of monetary and fiscal policy," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said en route to the meeting that begins with a White House dinner for political leaders Friday. Finance ministers will hold a separate dinner at the U.S. Treasury.

Obama sent representatives, including former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, to meet leaders on the sidelines of the meeting but stayed away personally.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at a news conference in Berlin before heading to the U.S. capital, said there was pressure to relieve the crisis and ensure no repeat.

"The government will do everything to ensure there are more rules to prevent such a situation recurring," she pledged.

Fresh U.S. and European data underlined the severity of the downturn policy-makers face.

The euro zone tumbled into recession in the third quarter and U.S. retail sales posted a record slump. Japan, the United States and Britain all are on the brink of recession, while China has slowed to destabilizing levels.