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G20 Leaders Pledge New Aid, Tighter Financial Controls

G20 leaders pledged aid to struggling countries and new controls on the financial system at the conclusion of their economic summit. Margaret Warner reports from London.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Our lead story: The leaders of the Group of 20 most powerful nations promised sweeping new aid today to needy countries and new controls on the world financial system. There was no move toward major new economic stimulus plans.

    Ray Suarez has our report.

  • U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:

    This is my man right here. Love this guy.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    It was mostly smiles in public, despite policy differences, as President Obama and the other G-20 leaders discussed a coordinated response to the global economic meltdown.

    GORDON BROWN, prime minister of Britain: We are now going to move to a discussion of the global financial institutions and global regulation…

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    And that discussion, hosted by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, yielded broad agreement on a number of measures: new international regulation of hedge funds and credit-rating agencies; oversight of tax havens to end the anonymity cloaking many international banking transactions; and a pledge of more than $1 trillion to help developing nations, plus $250 billion on international trade assistance.

    Afterward, Prime Minister Brown characterized the moves as a first step.

  • GORDON BROWN:

    Today, the largest countries of the world have agreed a global plan for recovery and reform.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy had threatened to bolt the summit unless it endorsed new regulation. He didn't get a new super-agency, but welcomed the outcome anyway.

  • NICOLAS SARKOZY, president of France (through translator):

    It's the financial crisis that brought about an economic crisis, and this financial crisis was brought about by a lack of regulation. But clearly today, a page has been turned.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    However, there was no agreement on a coordinated fiscal stimulus. Germany and France steadfastly opposed any such move, while the U.S. and Britain, which have both passed large stimulus measures, urged worldwide action.

    But in the end, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was an "almost historic compromise."

  • ANGELA MERKEL, chancellor, Germany (through translator):

    I think, on the whole, it is very important that we can go home from this conference and say we have done our bit to see to it that growth is restored, of prime importance to developing countries and emerging economies. We have done something for supervision and regulation, something that is qualitatively new.

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