Monday, April 27, 2009

EU Not Ready To Upgrade Ties With Israel

Curt Here...

I saw this story posted today on the front page of the website Fulfilled Prophecy. You can find it here..

Last week the US Administration was pressuring Israel into Mid East peace negotiations and this week the EU is taking it's turn putting the squeeze on Israel. I am sure from Israel's perspective that the pressure they received from the US was unpleasant, but this week, the pressure they are receiving from the EU has a bit more bite to it.

You see, in January 2007 the European Neighborhood Policy, which is a 7 year agreement between the EU and many other Middle East countries including Israel, went into force. This agreement provides not only security to Israel but also provides many trading oppurtunities for good and services with other countries within the European Neighborhood agreement.

There was also a promise for future upgrading of ties between the EU and Israel, with a dream of someday Israel joining the EU as a member state. Of course for this to have any chance of happening Israel was required to make progress towards peace and a two state solution with the Palestinians. A two state solution would include giving up control of the Temple Mount, allowing part of Jerusalem to be the Capitol of a future country called Palestine and several other requirements.

The old Israeli government under Euhud Olmert was making pretty good progress towards this goal, but the recent Israeli elections has changed all of that. The new Israeli government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu is not very interested in this idea, and why should they be? The Palestinians have never stood by their agreements in the past, and really there is no evidence that they will in the future.

The EU of course is not happy with this latest stand by Netanyahu, and they are very quickly reminding the new Israeli leadership of the agreement Israel made in 2007.

The very interesting part about the ENP agreement is that it has a mid-term review. That's right 3 1/2 years after it has started (June 2010) the EU will formally assess whether Israel is living up to their end of the bargain. So when the EU tells Israel that they are not ready to upgrade ties with them, trust me when I say that Israel understands that this means that the whole ENP agreement is in play.

Stay Tuned


EU not ready to upgrade ties with Israel

Israel must back the creation of a Palestinian state and recommit to the Middle East peace process before the EU can deepen ties with the Jewish state, the European Commission said Thursday.

"We believe that good and trustful relations with Israel are essential in order to make our voice heard," the EU's External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner told reporters in Brussels.

"We do not believe, however, that the time is indeed ripe to go beyond the current level of relations," she added.

Late last year EU nations agreed to enhance ties with Israel but the idea has been a dead letter since the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip in December and January, leaving over 1,300 Palestinians dead, according to Palestinian figures.

The future of the troubled peace process has become more uncertain with the appointment of Israel's hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as he has not endorsed the idea of the creation of a Palestinian state -- a principle Israel committed to under the 2003 international Middle East peace "roadmap."

That refusal to endorse the goal of a Palestinian state has raised fears that Israel's new cabinet is on a collision course with the new US administration which has vowed to push ahead with the peace process.

Netanyahu is scrambling to shape his cabinet's policy on the Middle East peace talks ahead of a planned meeting with Obama in Washington in May.

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday invited Arab and Israeli leaders to Washington and called for "good faith" gestures from all sides, including Israel.

"Too much remains unclear at this current point in time. And we expect indeed a clear commitment from the new government to pursue the negotiations with the Palestinians," EU commissioner Ferrero-Waldner said.

"We expect a stop of all activities undermining our objective of a two-state solution," she added, citing the expansion of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories "which is continuing on a daily basis."

"Israel knows what we have to offer and we have shown our very good will and our commitment to reinforce our relations but we think that the ball is now in the court of Israel," she said.

Ferrero-Waldner was speaking as the commission published reports on its "neighbourhood policy" detailing ties and problems beyond its borders.

In Israel, the report said, progress on promoting democracy, the rule of law and human rights was "limited as was cooperation with the EU on a comprehensive settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict."

Any consideration of bilateral EU-Israel relations... must take into account overall political developments in the Middle East," the report stressed.

The now-stalled plan to upgrade ties included a multiplication of bilateral meetings including at foreign ministers' level, with the EU presidency also able to invite Israeli diplomats to EU security meetings held among ambassadors.

The EU in December also said it would consider inviting Israel to take part in the civilian missions linked to its security and defence policy.

The European Union is the biggest supplier of aid to the Palestinian territories but it has little leverage in its dealings with Israel, which is amply supported by the United States.

The Middle East impasse has hit the EU's wider "Mediterranean partnership" plans which have been stalled since the Gaza conflict.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Obama Invites Middle East Heads For Peace Talks

Curt Here...

A few days ago I made a post about a news article that stated that Obama had promised to the Palestinians that he would move very quickly towards the creation of a Palestinian State. That he would do this pretty much whether the new leadership of Israel liked it or not.

The article posted below shows that he is putting his forceful words into action. President Obama has invited the leaders from Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians to Washington for discussions on Middle East Peace. These talks will supposedly take place sometime in early June.

I am starting to think that this new round of so called peace talks, could turn into a ultimatum for the new Israeli leadership. I say this because it is beginning to appear to me that the US is no longer sitting on the Israeli side of the table. If I turn out to be correct on this, then we are getting very close to the time when all the nations will gather against Israel.

Zechariah 12:3

3"It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.

Stay tuned



US officials say the leaders of Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians have been invited for talks in Washington in a new push for Middle East peace.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu, President Hosni Mubarak and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas have been asked to the White House for talks likely by early June.

The peace process has been beset by conflict and adversity which President Barack Obama has pledged to address.

There is no indication the Arab and Israeli leaders will meet directly.

Mr Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs said the visits were likely to take place before the president's scheduled trip to France on 6 June.

"With each of them the president will discuss ways the United States can strengthen and deepen our partnerships with them, as well as the steps all parties must take to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians and Israel and the Arab states," Mr Gibbs told a news conference.

He said the invitations had been extended after Mr Obama met Jordan's King Abdullah II at the White House on Tuesday.

Mr Obama has "invited other key partners in the effort to achieve a comprehensive peace in the Middle East to the White House in the coming weeks".

He added: "We are actively working to finalise dates for the visits."

Mr Obama's envoy George Mitchell has made several trips to the region, meeting Israel's recently installed prime minister, who Arab critics have characterised as an opponent of a negotiated peace settlement.

Speaking to reporters after talks with King Abdullah II, Mr Obama said there was "profound cynicism" surrounding the peace process.

"Unfortunately, right now what we've seen not just in Israel, but within the Palestinian territories, among the Arab states, worldwide, is a profound cynicism about the possibility of any progress being made whatsoever.

"What we want to do is to step back from the abyss, to say, as hard as it is, as difficult as it may be, the prospect of peace still exists, but it's going to require some hard choices."

He added that he hoped "gestures of good faith" would be made "on all sides" in the coming months, although he did not specify what those gestures would be.

The US supports a two-state solution, with Israel existing peacefully alongside a Palestinian state.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tony Blair Aims to Bring Together World's Religions

Curt Here...

Here is a very interesting article about former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. After Tony Blair left office he started a foundation called the "Faith Foundation." This foundation that he leads has been created to help bring together the worlds religions and to wrestle away the influence of extremists from all the major religions.

In doing so, the thought is that if we all work together and set aside our differences and compromise on our major religious disagreements, than we can do a lot of good together in the world. Sounds good doesn't it, but the truth couldn't be further from this.

You see, when you hear the word extremist in relation to religion these days you have to understand, they are not just talking about radical, violent Islamic extremism anymore. They are clearly talking about any religious individual of all the major faiths that believe that their way to Heaven or God is the only way.

This of course would include us Christians that believe Jesus when he said in John 14:6 - I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life and no one comes to the Father but through Me.

When we read this Scripture it seems pretty clear that the only way to God the Father who is in Heaven is through Jesus his Son. Unfortunately today, if that is your position you will soon be labeled as a religious extremist.

This should not surprise us, especially if the return of Christ is near. The Bible told us in advance that there would be persecution in the world that would be different from any other period of time. This time will include the persecution of the Saints. Persecution for believing that Jesus is the only way to God the Father. This period of time would occur during the Great Tribulation.

Mathew 24:9,21

9. "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.

21. "For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will

Now we have a major global political leader attempting to discredit the major foundational cornerstone of Christianity and is also marginalizing the followers. Yep the form work for this upcoming period of time is beginning to happen, just like the Bible said it would.

Stay Tuned


Tony Blair answers new calling

Former British PM's 'Faith Foundation' aims to bring together world's religions

Tony Blair, via his wily spin doctor, once famously told a reporter he didn't "do God."

When it came to invoking the Almighty, British leaders aren't like American presidents. Blair feared being branded "a nutter," he later said, if he talked about his religious convictions.

But he had them. And he's no longer wary of saying so.

"I'm really, and always have been in a way, more interested in religion than politics," he says.

Blair converted to Roman Catholicism six months after leaving office in 2007. But that was just the start of a formidable quest to bring together the world's major religions. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation was launched last spring.

"To understand the state of modern politics you have to understand the modern state of religion," Blair says in an exclusive email interview before a visit Friday to Toronto. The foundation's aim is to advance interfaith action and wrestle back influence from extremists – of all faiths, not just Islam.

A restless former leader in search of a legacy?

Blair was appointed a Mideast peace envoy within hours of leaving Downing Street, a role observers said was unlikely to yield him either fulfilment or success. Will a bid to bridge religious divides fare any better?

So far, so good. One year later, the foundation, now partnered with Yale University, offers academic courses to 25 religiously disparate students. And another 30 young people from Canada, the U.S. and U.K. have been recruited as "Faiths Act Fellows" to campaign against resurgent, deadly malaria.

Blair, who's taken to reading the Old and New Testaments and the Qu'ran daily, says the foundation isn't a short-term interest: "This is not for me a `this year and next year' project. This is a rest-of-my-life project. Over time, people will be able to see me in a different light."

In other words, not just as the U.S.'s chief ally in the Iraq invasion.

Once hugely popular, Blair ended his 10 years in power vilified by the anti-war British public, accused of toadying to the U.S. and outright lying about the reasons for invading: "Bliar," the protest placards read.

"You can certainly understand the skepticism about his new role," says Stephen Brooke, a British historian at York University. "He ended up so disliked that people wondered if he even knew what the truth was any more."

Yet Brooke doesn't doubt his sincerity: "He's right about the importance of religion. But is he an appropriate mouthpiece? He's been soiled by his foreign policy."

Blair, 56 next month, is impassioned about the new vocation, saying it gives him "a powerful sense of mission, every bit as powerful as I felt in politics."

The BBC recently filmed him at Yale, giving a seminar to the first crop of students, batting ideas back and forth on how to unite disparate faiths into a force for global good, not dissension – and clearly relishing the byplay.

"I think I got my whole life the wrong way round," he says at one point. "I should have started with the conceptual debate first."

In fact, he did. At Oxford University in the 1970s, a fellow student, an Anglican priest, awoke in him a sense that Christianity should mean "living action," not just spiritual belief. It was there, through a diverse set of friends, he first learned about the six major faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which share common roots; and Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism.

"There's a clear record of religion being a constant theme in his life," says Paul Webb, a political scientist at England's University of Sussex. Because so many Muslims saw the attack on Iraq as an attack on Islam, "he may be trying, perhaps, to resolve that issue in some way."

Or perhaps not. Blair still insists his decision to join the U.S. in the war was made for the right reasons: "I regret the consequences of Iraq, but not the decision to remove Saddam."

But the foundation isn't all about Islam. He's also been busy trying to explain the mindset of the Vatican. Questioned by a gay rights magazine about Rome's hard-line stance on homosexuality, he said the problem was "generational," then added in a newly fitting, ecumenical way:

"There's probably that same fear among (other) religious leaders that if you concede on an issue like this ... where does it end? You'd start having to rethink many, many things. My view is that rethinking is good, so let's carry on rethinking."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Obama Will 'Quickly' Give Palestinians State

Curt Here.....

It looks like the push for peace in the Middle East is about to heat up again as it appears that President Obama is going work very hard in the near future towards the creation of a Palestinian state.

According to the article posted below the Palestinian Authority claim that President Obama sent a message through George Mitchell who has been in the Middle East, that the Administration is going to "move more quickly than anybody could imagine" towards the creation of a Palestinian State.

The Administration also sent a clear shot towards Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when they told the Palestinians that "We don't mind who is the government in Israel. Things will be closed..."

This reminds me of the time that Javier Solana told the Israeli government that the EU would be involved in the Middle East peace process whether Israel liked it or not. I believe that the US Administration just sent the exact same message to the new leadership in Israel.

Israel is very quickly running out of friends in this world and it is very sad to possibly see our great nation joining the rest of the world on the wrong side of this great battle that is coming.

Stay Tuned



Obama will 'quickly' give Palestinians state

Arab official says U.S. relayed message ahead of meeting with Abbas

TEL AVIV, Israel – President Obama will move to create a Palestinian state "more quickly than anybody could imagine." At least that's the message the Palestinian Authority claims it received from the U.S.

A chief PA negotiator, speaking to WND from the West Bank city of Ramallah, said that in recent days Palestinian officials held preliminary meetings leading to an in-person confab today between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and George Mitchell, Obama's envoy to the Mideast.

The PA negotiator said the American team preparing for Mitchell's meeting with Abbas conveyed to the Palestinians that Obama seeks to move swiftly toward a Palestinian state.

Said the PA negotiator: "They (the U.S. team) told us, 'We don't mind who is the government in Israel. Things will be closed (for a Palestinian state) and more quickly than anybody could imagine."

Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a meeting with Obama's envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, to outline the prime minister's approach to Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Netanyahu reportedly told Mitchell he would condition future talks with the Palestinians on Palestinian leaders' first recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, a step that would be difficult should Hamas join a unity government.

The Israeli Ynetnews website quoted Netanyahu telling Mitchell of fears that any Israeli withdrawal from strategic territory would leave a terrorist hornet's nest in its wake.

"Israel must make sure that the political process does not result in the creation of a second 'Hamastan' (in the West Bank) that would threaten Jerusalem and the coastline," Netanyahu reportedly said.

Regarding Syria, Netanyahu told Mitchell he is willing to approach talks with Damascus if the country would curb its alliance with Iran and backing of Palestinian terrorism, according to a source in the Netanyahu government speaking to WND.

The source said Mitchell conveyed to Netanyahu that Obama seeks to create a Palestinian state in hopes of normalizing relations between Israel and the Arab world in line with the "Arab Peace Initiative." The source told WND Mitchell relayed that Obama's Mideast strategy would be based on the concept of the "Initiative" but with security guarantees for Israel.

Following scores of denials he would trumpet the plan, Obama in January hailed the Arab initiative, which offers normalization of ties with the Jewish state in exchange for extreme Israeli concessions. In an interview with an Arab television network – his first formal interview as president – Obama stated:

"Well, here's what I think is important. Look at the proposal that was put forth by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. ... I might not agree with every aspect of the proposal, but it took great courage to put forward something that is as significant as that. I think that there are ideas across the region of how we might pursue peace. I do think that it is impossible for us to think only in terms of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and not think in terms of what's happening with Syria or Iran or Lebanon or Afghanistan and Pakistan."

The Arab Initiative, originally proposed by King Abdullah in 2002 and later adopted by the Arab League, states that Israel would receive "normal relations" with the Arab world in exchange for a full withdrawal from the entire Gaza Strip, West Bank, Golan Heights and eastern Jerusalem, which includes the Temple Mount.

The West Bank contains important Jewish biblical sites and borders central Israeli population centers, while the Golan Heights looks down on Israeli civilian zones and was twice used by Syria to mount ground invasions into the Jewish state.

The Arab plan also demands the imposition of a non-binding U.N. resolution that calls for so-called Palestinian refugees who wish to move inside Israel to be permitted to do so at the "earliest practicable date."

Palestinians have long demanded the "right of return" for millions of "refugees," a formula Israeli officials across the political spectrum warn is code for Israel's destruction by flooding the Jewish state with millions of Arabs, thereby changing its demographics.

When Arab countries attacked the Jewish state after its creation in 1948, some 725,000 Arabs living within Israel's borders fled or were expelled from the area that became Israel. Also at that time, about 820,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries or fled following rampant persecution.

While most Jewish refugees were absorbed by Israel and other countries, the majority of Palestinian Arabs have been maintained in 59 U.N.-run camps that do not seek to settle the Arabs elsewhere. There are currently about 4 million Arabs who claim Palestinian refugee status with the U.N., including children and grandchildren of the original fleeing Arabs, Arabs living full-time in Jordan, and Arabs who long ago emigrated throughout the Middle East and to the West.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter from The 70th Week.

May you and your family be blessed as you celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Stay Tuned

Curt & Mike

Monday, April 6, 2009

Soros Says the U.S. Dollar May Eventually be Replaced as a World Reserve Currency

Curt Here...

According to the latest article posted below, liberal economist George Soros says that the future of the dollar as the worlds reserve currency may be in doubt. He said he believes the new IMF special drawing rights, which is now basically a synthetic currency basket comprised of dollars, euros, yen and sterling, will eventually replace the dollar as the worlds reserve currency. The world leaders, fresh from the G20 summit may have just done what UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown claimed and that is to create a new global world order.

Soros also claims that the US could use this new currency so that "In the long run, having an international accounting unit rather than the dollar may, in fact, be to our advantage so we can't splurge—you know, it felt very good for 25 years but now we are paying a very heavy price."

The world currency is coming, or at least a system where the currency is controlled globally, instead of nationally. It is just a matter of time, but I think it could be much sooner than later. The question I have is how many recognize what is going on? How many Christians see what it is coming?

Stay Tuned



US Recovery Is Far Off, Banks Are 'Basically Insolvent': Soros

The U.S. economy is in for a "lasting slowdown" and could face a Japan-style period of relatively low growth coupled with high inflation, billionaire investor George Soros said on Monday.

Soros, speaking to Reuters Financial Television, also warned that rescuing U.S. banks could turn them into "zombies" that draw the lifeblood of the economy, prolonging the economic slowdown

"I don't expect the U.S. economy to recover in the third or fourth quarter so I think we are in for a pretty lasting slowdown," Soros said, adding that in 2010 there might be "something" in terms of U.S. growth.

Soros' view contrasts with the majority of economists, who expect the U.S. economy to stop contracting in the third quarter and resume growing in the fourth quarter, according to the latest monthly poll of forecasts conducted by Reuters.

The recovery will look like "an inverted square root sign," Soros said. "You hit bottom and you automatically rebound some, but then you don't come out of it in a V-shape recovery or anything like that. You settle down—step down."

The healing of the banking system and housing markets is crucial to recovery. "The banking system, as a whole, is basically insolvent," Soros said.

What's more, the Treasury's Public-Private Investment Fund is going to work but it won't be enough to recapitalize the banks in a way that they are able to or willing to provide credit.

"What we have created now is a situation where the banks who will be able to earn their way out of a hole, but by doing that, they are going to weigh on the economy," he said. "Instead of stimulating the economy, they will draw the lifeblood, so to speak, of profits away from the real economy in order to keep themselves alive. This is the zombie bank situation."

The stress tests being conducted by Treasury could be a precursor to a more successful recapitalization of the banks, he added.

Dollar is Vulnerable

Soros, whose latest book, "The Crash of 2008 and What it Means," has made prescient calls during the current credit crisis.

Exactly one year ago, he told Reuters that global losses are likely to top $1 trillion from the credit crisis. To date, U.S. and European banks have recorded more than $700 billion in losses and write-downs, as of Feb. 5. 2009, according to Reuters data.

Soros also said the U.S. dollar is under selling pressure and may eventually be replaced as a world reserve currency, possibly by the IMF's Special Drawing Rights, a synthetic currency basket comprised of dollars, euros, yen and sterling.

"I think the dollar is now under question and I think the system will need to be reformed, so that the United States will be subject to the same discipline as is imposed on other countries," said Soros, whose famous bet against the British pound earned his Quantum Fund $1 billion in 1992. "Being the main issuer of international currency, we have been exempt and we have abused that because we have effectively consumed 6.5 percent more than we have produced. That is now coming to an end."

China recently proposed greater use of Special Drawing Rights, possibly as an eventual global reserve currency. "In the long run, having an international accounting unit rather than the dollar may, in fact, be to our advantage so we can't splurge—you know, it felt very good for 25 years but now we are paying a very heavy price," Soros said.

China will be the first country to emerge from recession, probably this year, and will spearhead global growth in 2010, Soros said. He said world policymakers are "actually beginning to catch up" with the crisis and efforts to fix structural problems in the financial system.

The system was "fundamentally flawed, and there is no returning to where we came from," he said.

Euro Zone Not in Danger

In Europe, he said the crisis provides an incentive for countries that use the euro to remain inside the monetary union, though countries on the periphery still face serious problems.

The euro has been "a tremendous advantage" to countries that use it, adding there's "no question of a weaker country dropping out," Soros said.

While additional resources for the International Monetary Fund will help it stabilize struggling Eastern Europe, he said the Baltic states still face "serious problems" and Ukraine is not far from default.

Widespread use of credit default swaps has worsened the risks for Europe, he said, though he added that Germany, the euro zone's biggest economy, is becoming more open to offering help. "Germany, which has been the most reserved about being the deep pocket of the rest of Europe, has recognized that it too has a responsibility toward the new member states."

Germany has been one of the most reluctant major economies to meet U.S. calls for more fiscal stimulus spending to boost the global economy and fight the financial crisis.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

G20 Agree to Let the IMF Create its Own Currency

Curt Here...

The headlines coming out of the G20 economic summit give you the impression that our world leaders have made great progress towards solving our global economic problems. The world markets immediately responded to all the rosy headlines as they rose quickly across the globe.

I on the other hand read the article below and realize that the framework for the mark of the beast may have just been negotiated. The real headline in my humble opinion is of course the last item of the article listed below. It states that "in a new development, the G20 agreed to let the IMF create $250bn of Special Drawing Rights, its own currency comprising dollars, euros, yen and sterling, boosting the foreign exchange reserves of every country."

That's right the G20 just gave the International Monetary Fund the right to create its own currency. A brand new currency that will be some sort of combination of the major currency's of the day. Wow is all I can say to this news. The possible prophetic implications to this, are well, astounding. I wonder, who is going to control this currency?

Stay Tuned.



G20 leaders claim summit success

World leaders on Thursday heralded the G20 summit as the day the world “fought back against the recession” as they put on a show of unity that lifted global markets and mapped out a new future for financial regulation

Gordon Brown, host of the summit, said the meeting marked the emergence of a “new world order”, as he unveiled what leaders claimed was a $1,100bn package of measures to tackle the global downturn, including support for lower income countries and a $250bn plan to boost the international money supply.

Close inspection showed some of the $1,100bn pledged included reannouncements and half-done deals. However, even before the summit ended, equity markets rose sharply around the world on hopes that the global economy was stabilising.

In London, the FTSE 100 jumped 4.3 per cent to go through the 4,000 mark for the first time in six weeks while in New York, the S&P 500 surged more than 4 per cent to close up 2.9 per cent.

The leaders papered over divisions between the US and Europe over whether the world could afford a new fiscal stimulus, with US president Barack Obama describing the summit’s measures as “bolder and more rapid than any international response that we’ve seen to a financial crisis in memory” and predicted they would mark “a turning point in our pursuit of global economic recovery”.

France’s president Nicolas Sarkozy, meanwhile, said the summit’s agreement on a new regulatory regime and crackdown on tax havens showed “a page has been turned” on an era of post-war “Anglo Saxon” capitalism.

Although the summit ended with smiles, a row between China and France over the blacklisting of tax havens – including possibly Hong Kong and Macao – continued behind the scenes well into the day.

US officials say that Barack Obama helped broker a compromise over offshore tax savings between Hu Jintao of China and Nicolas Sarkozy of France, who had threatened to walk away from the summit.

Mr Sarkozy had objected to the absence of agreement to publish a list of offshore tax centres that were not in compliance with existing standards on transparency. With the exception of China, all other countries agreed that the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development would publish a list of offshore offenders in a “naming and shaming” exercise. In the end they agreed a compromise in which the G20 would only “take note” of the OECD’s list, rather than endorse it.

The summit text included commitments to curb “risky” bank pay and bonuses, but offered little new on monetary policy action or efforts to clean up bank balance sheets.

Of the $500bn of money pledged to the IMF to bolster struggling economies, some had already been announced and $250bn was a pledge of future funds.

In a new development, the G20 agreed to let the IMF create $250bn of Special Drawing Rights, its own currency comprising dollars, euros, yen and sterling, boosting the foreign exchange reserves of every country. Most of this cash will go to the big advanced economies, but poorer countries facing budgetary strains will gain new cash without normal IMF conditions.