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30 banks on leaders' minds

WASHINGTON — Nations are close to adopting a series of measures aimed at combating a global recession and laying the groundwork for a broad reconstruction of the international financial system, as world leaders arrive in Washington for a major economic summit this weekend.

Among the most notable measures would be the creation of a body to supervise the regulation of global financial institutions. The "college of supervisors" would bring together international regulators to coordinate oversight of the world's 30 largest financial institutions, according to officials familiar with the plans.

The new body would be designed to add an extra level of scrutiny to the way banks are monitored and to catch excessive risk-taking of the sort that contributed to the current economic crisis.

The United States, European countries, Japan and major developing nations are also close to a deal to create an "early warning system" to detect weaknesses in the global financial system before they reach epic proportions.

Meanwhile, with international calls for greater transparency growing, U.S. officials say the Federal Reserve will soon announce the creation of a clearinghouse system to help standardize and limit risk on some of the opaque and exotic financial derivatives that helped bring down Wall Street's investment banks. Even five of the world's wealthiest hedge fund managers said Thursday that they would support oversight of their industry.

On Thursday, Germany became latest country to fall into recession since the onset of the crisis.

Several of the world leaders arriving in Washington today have blamed the United States for causing the crisis by failing to adequately regulate markets and allowing freewheeling lending. As a result, the U.S. will face some sense of rebuke at the summit.

President Bush defended American-style capitalism Thursday and warned against overregulation or any efforts "to reinvent" the system. Yet after eight years of deregulation and the expansion of market freedoms, he also called for reforms and greater cooperation among the world's financial authorities.

30 banks on leaders' minds 11/13/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 9:40am]

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