Carter Dougherty and Matthew Saltmarsh
International Herald Tribune
September 25, 2008

Europe and Japan on Monday turned a cold shoulder toward a U.S. request that they bail out banks in the manner now being proposed in the United States.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, also took the opportunity to sharply criticize the United States and Britain for opposing German attempts to put greater regulation, or at least reviews, of the financial sector on the international agenda last year, when she was chairing the Group of 7 industrialized nations.

“Everyone who produces a real product knows what it looks like and what standards it is up to,” said Merkel, who was traveling in Austria. “One also needs to know with a financial product what’s involved. Otherwise, these sorts of things happen that we then all have to pay for.”

Following an overnight conference call of finance ministries and central banks, the G-7 industrialized nations welcomed the U.S. bailout program Monday and pledged in a statement to “enhance international cooperation.” But the G-7 also indicated that countries were free to go their own way in grappling with what has become the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.

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