U.S., U.K. Finance Chiefs Urge G-20 To Reform, Keep Policy Loose

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne offered their prescription for the Group of 20 major economies Monday, as the block's finance ministers and central bankers gathered in Istanbul for their annual conference. Writing in a Wall Street Journal commentary, Osborne and Lew listed "three crucial ingredients" to overcome risks to the slowing global economy. The first was following "a responsible fiscal path while ensuring sufficient resources for education and infrastructure investment." The second was for central banks to maintain "accommodative credit conditions," which they saw as especially important in countering deflationary pressure. The third element involved the "implementation of pro-growth structural economic reforms," including regulation to safeguard financial stability, support for small business, and addressing "the variety of rigidities that constrain growth in several European countries," though they didn't name the nations in question. They also warned of possible fallout from geopolitical risks in Ukraine and the Middle East.

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