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G20: No Return to 'Bad Old Days'

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The world's leading and developing economies are forging a new, global approach to economics, declaring an end to the era of risky behavior by big banks.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Friday reaffirmed comments by the United States that the Group of 20 will become the world's "premier international organization" on economic matters.

Mr. Brown also said G20 leaders meeting in the eastern U.S. city of Pittsburgh will be much tougher on banks and big financial firms than many people expect, promising "There is no return to the bad old days."

Limiting the risk-taking by big banks was one of the most contentious issues in the lead-up to the summit. But G20 officials say leaders are close to a deal that would control bonuses for bank executives and tie their compensation to the performance of their financial institutions.

Some economists and officials blame banks for plunging the global economy into a deep recession, while some countries, including France and Germany, have expressed outrage at the large bonuses paid to the top executives at failed financial firms.

Officials say the final deal also will require banks to hold more cash in reserve in case their investments go bad, although it will not impose a hard cap on executive compensation. U.S. officials had said such a requirement would be a deal-breaker.

On Thursday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday there also was "strong consensus" on the need to rebalance global trade so that it is no longer dependent on spending by American consumers.

Until this summit, the Group of Eight major industrialized nations had been considered the world's leading economic group.

The G20 consists of the G8 - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia - as well as Brazil, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Argentina, Australia, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the European Union.

Canada and South Korea announced Friday they will co-host the next G20, scheduled for June 2010.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.