G20 list of risky economies not done deal: Lagarde

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The Group of 20 major economies is divided over a plan to publish a list of countries that could pose a systemic risk to global stability, Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister, said Thursday.

The G20 finance chiefs, in discussions in Washington through Friday, are set to thrash out a system that would protect the global economy from the risks of economic imbalances in individual countries.

They will try to determine when debt levels, trade deficits or other indicators point to a systemic risk, with a view to naming and shaming those nations that present the biggest problems for stability.

The United States, Germany, China and Japan are already certain to be on the list, according to a person close to the negotiations, but were likely to have company.

But Lagarde, whose country holds the group's presidency this year, told reporters ahead of the meetings: "We have not completed the agreement on the guidelines."

"It will be up to the G20 members to decide how to deal this issue," she said.

First, the members must agree on the guidelines, she said. "We'll only know when the meeting is over" whether a list is approved.

After agreeing the broad outline of a deal last February, they are to tackle the vexing details of the plan, which could prove a tough test of countries' willingness to open themselves up to outside scrutiny.

The G20 meeting was to take place on the sidelines of the annual spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

© 2011 AFP

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