Big powers gear up for daunting Bretton Woods II

PARIS, October 16, 2008 (AFP) – Europe is enlisting the United States and other powers in a drive to create a new system to ensure order in global finance, a task which analysts say is daunting but unavoidable.

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Britain, France and Germany agree on the need for a far-reaching rethink of the financial world but the specifics of what President Nicolas Sarkozy calls a new “regulated capitalism” have yet to be nailed down.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, whose bank rescue plan was emulated by the rest of Europe, is seeking a “new international financial architecture” to revamp the Bretton Woods accords after World War II.

Brown and Sarkozy speak of the need for more regulation and oversight and a new role for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to avert future crises.

As chair of the European Union, Sarkozy will meet US President George W. Bush at his Camp David retreat on Saturday to discuss the idea, hoping the building blocks can be laid at a summit in coming weeks.

“The crisis is so grave that the Americans are ready to sign on,” said Christian