RPT-WRAPUP 1-Debt levels, big monetary stimulus on tap at G20

Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:59am EDT
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* Debt reduction proposal source of tension

* Emerging nations voice concerns about stimulus spillovers

* G20 communique likely to push for swifter Libor reform

By David Gaffen and Jan Strupczewski

April 19 (Reuters) - Finance leaders of the G20 economies on Friday were set to debate specific targets for reigning in debt levels and the potential dangers from the latest round of aggressive easing of monetary policy from the world's biggest central banks.

They were also poised to demand swifter resolution to setting guidelines for financial benchmarks like the Libor interest rate in the wake of a global rate-rigging scandal.

But a rethinking of the austerity push among the world's biggest economies loomed as the biggest talking point. Advanced economies, particularly in Europe, have undertaken sharp austerity drives in recent years to curb growing debt, but those efforts have at times damaged economies already suffering from capital flight and under-investment from the private sector.

EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that a period of reduced spending and borrowing was necessary to calm markets concerned about out-of-control debt levels, particularly in peripheral European countries. That time has passed, he said.

"Decisive action was taken. Now as we have restored the credibility in the short-term, that gives us the possibility of having a smoother path of fiscal adjustment in the medium-term," he said.   Continued...