The G20 summit meeting that began Thursday in Seoul had been expected to calm tempers riled by foreign exchange rates. Instead, Reuters reported that little substantive action was taken on the first day of meetings, as arguments over the U.S. decision to proceed with a second round of quantitative easing resulted in tension and debate.
Fears over a possible fresh financial crisis in Ireland that could spread to Spain and Portugal also cast a pall over the meeting. Although Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, said that the EU had the tools to help Ireland, he did not commit to any action.
In another Reuters report, amid concerns of currency wars, Russia said the world economy remained “unstable and unbalanced,” and that it would be difficult for member nations to continue to work together as crisis pressures ease. Russia has not been as outspoken in its criticism of the U.S. as other nations.