Commentary: G-20 summit faces low expectations

This editorial appeared in The Kansas City Star.

Expectations for this weekend's economic summit in Washington are fairly low, which is realistic given the bewildering variation in financial regulation among the 20 participating nations. Among those attending will be the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.

Improving coordination and strengthening such varied regulatory approaches won't be easy. Yet the gathering of the Group of 20 — industrial democracies and emerging nations — could produce important work.

Simply laying the groundwork for future discussions should be counted as progress.

Some G-20 members are eager for specific agreements on regulating the global financial system. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, for example, declared that he's not interested in participating in a summit of "polite conversation."

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