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G-20 leaders leave Europe’s problems to Europe

G-20 leaders leave Europe’s problems to Europe
By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY
Updated 45m ago

CANNES, France – Leaders of the world’s major and developing economies left Europe Friday in the same way they found it — facing down its own government debt crisis, with little to show from their allies but encouragement.

Italy, the most fiscally troubled member of the G-20, agreed to open its books to the International Monetary Fund for independent assessment. China, perhaps the least troubled by years of global economic malaise, agreed to increase the flexibility of its exchange rate but made no specific promises. The United States, facing its own economic and political troubles, didn’t open its checkbook at all.

The final communique from rain-drenched Cannes called for the IMF to step into the breach if more European nations besides Greece are threatened with imminent default. But no money was added to IMF’s $390 billion pot — only the promise to deploy various options if necessary.

In that way, it was similar to Europe’s pledge last week to create a $1.4 trillion firewall against future defaults: It’s not clear where the money would come from

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