Geithner in bid for slow G20 reform

City A.M. Reporter
US Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner said yesterday he hopes the Group of 20 nations will commit to restoring public finances to a sustainable path without jeopardising a global economic recovery.

“That is a shared imperative. We all recognise it,” Geithner said before departing for the G20 meeting in Busan, Korea. “As the IMF says, we want those fiscal reforms to happen in a way that's growth friendly.”

Geithner joins fellow finance ministers and central bankers for the 4-5 June meetings where he said topics will include the importance of greater bank disclosure and the necessity for a consistent framework for regulating derivatives markets.

Geithner said the global recovery does have momentum, and it is vital that the G20 members agree to do everything possible to reinforce it.

The G20 includes both the top industrialised and key emerging-market nations like China, India, Brazil and Korea.

The G20 meeting comes as debt-stricken European countries, including Greece and Spain, move to implement austerity measures to rein in their budgets. The austerity plans have sparked fears in financial markets that the measures could crimp the global recovery.

Geithner said there were areas of broad agreement on the need to strengthen capital requirements for the banking system in the wake of the financial crisis that struck in the United States in 2007-2009.