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Financial Crisis Shows Global Reach in Sluggish British Economy

On the heels of this weekend's G-20 summit of world leaders to assess the economic crisis, Margaret Warner reports from London on how the financial turmoil has impacted Great Britain -- where the upheaval has hit especially hard.

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  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    And now to part two of our report, the spreading crisis abroad. There was much ado going into this weekend's gathering of world leaders in Washington and then differing views as to what was achieved.

    In their communique, the so-called G-20 agreed to promote economic stimulus measures and to develop stronger international financial regulations.

    In Great Britain, where the crisis has hit especially hard, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been in the forefront of world leaders calling for a coordinated international response.

    Our own Margaret Warner is in London at the beginning of a reporting trip, and we go to her now.

    Well, Margaret, the British government was among the strongest in pushing for this gathering, so what was the reaction there today?

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    Well, the British government feels it got quite a bit, at least as much as was gettable, Jeff, given the fact that they were meeting at a time of transition between the two American presidents.

    First of all, they were very pleased to get number-one agenda item for Gordon Brown, which was this commitment for all the economies to stimulate domestic growth at home.

    And, secondly, on the other big agenda item, which had to do with financial regulation, they at least feel they got a commitment to address that down the road on some very specific issues, like better international regulation and supervision of hedge funds or executive compensation or really big global financial institutions like Citibank.

    So Gordon Brown, the prime minister, came to parliament today — right behind me — to tout all this as a big achievement and a testament to his leadership. And he also wrapped himself in the language of the communique about stimulus measures, essentially as political cover for what he's planning to unveil next week, which are some big tax cuts and spending hikes.

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