Euro leaders seek global help after firewall boost

Written by Bloomberg | Updated: Apr 3 2012, 07:46am hrs
Finance ministers add 500 billion euros to bailout fund

Efforts to resolve the two-year-old European debt crisis swung back to world leaders after euro-area policy makers boosted a firewall designed to overcome doubts about their crisis response and to lure additional emergency aid.

Finance ministers from the 17-member monetary union unveiled a package over the weekend including 500 billion euros ($667 billion) in fresh bailout funds on top of 300 billion euros already committed to rescue programs, which together topped the symbolic $1 trillion mark. The total doubles when more than 1 trillion euros lent by the European Central Bank to aid the regions banks is included.

The political commitment to the euro zone is increasingly clear, and the ECB has shown that, in the final analysis, theyll do what they have to do, Erik Nielsen, chief global economist at UniCredit, wrote in a note to clients on Sunday.

Group of 20 nations that rebuffed German-led pleas for more aid in February will be asked to decide this month whether European leaders have done enough to warrant increased resources from the International Monetary Fund. Euro-area finance ministers insisted at a meeting that ended March 31 in Copenhagen that theyve fulfilled their side of the bargain. Europe has done its part and that augurs well for talks at the IMF spring meeting on April 20, French finance minister Francois Baroin said as he left the meeting.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said on March 30 that Europes upgraded strategy will support the IMFs efforts to increase its available resources for the benefit of all our members. The same day, the US Treasury said Europes decision on financing will strengthen confidence.

With finance ministers offering differing arithmetic to defend the firewall, it was unclear whether emerging nations including China and India would be persuaded to help bolster the IMFs anti-crisis war chest at the funds meeting.

London job vacancies fell 11% in March

Job vacancies at Londons financial-services companies fell 11% last month as banks delayed plans to hire, and investment bankers held on to their existing jobs, recruitment firm Astbury Marsden said. New vacancies in the British capitals City and Canary Wharf financial districts dropped to 3,180 in March from 3,585 in February, the recruiter said in a statement on Monday. There were 5,900 City job vacancies in March 2011. Those who were hoping that an easing of the euro zone crisis would lead to a sudden, sustained and obvious recovery in the City jobs market have been wrong-footed, said Mark Cameron, chief operating officer at Astbury Marsden in the statement.