Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Leaders in Crisis Talks as PM Seeks 'Coalition of the Willing' to Avert Double-Dip Recession

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Leaders in Crisis Talks as PM Seeks 'Coalition of the Willing' to Avert Double-Dip Recession

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Prynn and Craig Woodhouse

WORLD leaders were struggling to stem panic over the global economy today as the FTSE-100 failed to rally after its biggest one-day fall in two-and-a-half years.

The blue-chip share index dipped below the 5000 barrier, and by lunchtime was down 82.35 points, or 1.63 per cent, at 4959.26.

As fear stalked the City, hopes that a bounce would make up some of the ground lost in yesterday's massive stock market sell-off faded.

The other main indices across Europe were down by between two and 3.5 per cent, after tumbling about five per cent yesterday -- the biggest fall since the height of the crisis in spring 2009.

David Cameron promised to lead a "coalition of the willing" if world leaders failed to reach a breakthrough in crucial trade talks. The Prime Minister is dismayed at a lack of progress on a deal which could deliver a $170 billion boost to global economies as fears of a double-dip recession grow by the day.

Today G20 finance ministers and bank chiefs meeting in Washington vowed to implement a "collective and bold action plan, with everyone doing their part". Their communique said policies for the short and medium-to-long term would be drawn up for the Cannes summit in November, adding: "We are committed to supporting growth, implementing credible fiscal consolidation plans, and ensuring strong, sustainable, balanced growth."

Mr Cameron wants the November meeting to focus on breaking the deadlock on the Doha round of trade talks, which have been rumbling on since 2001. In a speech to the Canadian parliament in Ottawa, he repeated calls for leaders to show "political will" and reject protectionism at a time of economic gloom, saying trade was "the biggest wealth creator we have ever known".

"The whole point about trade is that you're baking a bigger cake -- everyone can benefit from it," the Prime Minister said. …

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