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At IMF, Canada's FinMin Flaherty Tells ICP Glad for Delay of Volcker Rule, Geithner

By Matthew Russell Lee

WASHINGTON DC, April 20 -- The Volcker Rule on proprietary trading by banks was one of the responses to the subprime financial meltdown of 2008.

  On Friday at the IMF, Inner City Press asked Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty about what it has reported as the Group of 20's opposition to the rule, especially for its treatment of non-US sovereign debt.

  Flaherty told Inner City Press, "it came up informally a couple of times... I can tell you, Canada is please there's been delay in planned implementation date, concerned about extraterritorial effect, I've discussed with Secretary Geithner and we look forward to further developments."

  Geithner, as we've noted and even asked the US State Department to explain, did not show up for the Finance Ministers meeting about Rio + 20 and sustainable development held Friday at the World Bank. But has Geithner given Flaherty some re-regulatory assurance?

  Flaherty was also asked about a "disagreement" he had with Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble, concerning whether European countries were doing enough about their crisis to avoid Flaherty's requested veto and loss of European seats in the IMF.

  Flaherty said he's known Schauble for as long as he's been Germany minister, Flaherty has served longer. Could that be the problem?

Inner City Press asked him directly, beyond the alleged differential treatment of sovereign debt, if the mixing of banking and proprietary trading played a role in the meltdown.

  "We're all entitled to our views," Flaherty replied. "In the Canadian situation, proprietary trading was not an issue for us. Some would argue it was not causative. I'll leave to others to debate." Yeah - while he whispers to Tim Geithner about it, then at the G20 in Mexico.

  Later Friday afternoon outside the IMF a protest marched by, to chants including Occupy Wall Street. Few journalists looked up from "making the donuts," so to speak, packaging Christine Lagarde's canned quotes to Charlie Rose as news. And so it has gone at the IMF. Watch this site.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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