World financial reform idea only embryonic: Harper

Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:04pm EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - The world needs better early warning systems about financial troubles, but efforts to arrive at a joint approach are only "at the embryonic stage," Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Thursday.

Leaders of the world's top economies will meet in Washington November 14-15, with France urging an overhaul of the capitalist system, and Harper told reporters considerable work was being done in Canada and elsewhere in preparation.

"I think it's transparent that we need some kind of new rules. I think we need both new rules in some countries and I think we need as well probably international rules and certainly better ways of monitoring and providing early warning about failures of national regulation systems," said Harper.

"I think the truth of the matter is these things are at the very preliminary stage in terms of ideas. I don't think ... at this point anyone is coming with a really fixed package of ideas."

Harper, the first major leader to be re-elected since the financial crisis began, said he had initiated a comprehensive evaluation of Canada's domestic regulatory systems and its response to the international financial crisis.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer and David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson)

<p>Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper takes part in a swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa October 30, 2008. Harper unveiled his new cabinet on Thursday and said his government would focus on ensuring Canada made it through the global economic crisis. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>