September 25, 2009

Critics say G20 accords lack enforcement

Group of 20 leaders in Pittsburgh have agreed in principal to economic changes critics said had little enforcement behind them.

The United States found support for its economic Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth and for moving Europe to give developing nations more clout at the International Monetary Fund. U.S. leaders also found agreement for countries to phase out oil subsidies, but the agreement had no deadline and limited effect, critics said.

The directive says oil subsidies will be phased out over the medium term, which leaves it up to each G20 nation to set its own individual deadlines, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

We will have our energy and finance ministers, based on their national circumstances, develop implementation strategies and time frames, the statement reads.

G20 countries also turned their focus on energy speculators, agreeing to direct relevant regulators to also collect related data on over-the-counter oil markets and to take steps to combat market manipulation leading to excessive price volatility.

Without sanctions, this agreement doesn't mean anything, University of Maryland economist Peter Morici told the Journal.

People don't need to dot every 'I' and cross every 'T' if they aren't worried about getting whacked by sanctions, said Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.