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Schaeuble Warns G-20 Against Devaluation, Debt Temptations

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble cautioned the Group of 20 nations against engaging in currency manipulation to buoy their economies, saying there is no alternative to committing to deep-rooted reform.

Schaeuble, the minister at the helm of Europe’s biggest economy, called on fellow G-20 nations to adopt the European Union’s fiscal rules obliging members to bring debt below 60 percent of gross domestic product. He proposed the rule also be applied to all “industrial, developing and emerging nations.”

“While Europe is successfully repairing itself, the G-20 as a whole is standing at a crossroads,” Schaeuble said in the op-ed, according an English version of his comments provided by his ministry. “The temptation to take a short cut on the way to economic recovery and financial repair by relying on monetary policy or competitive devaluations has become as real as it is dangerous.”

Schaeuble comments were posted on the newspaper Kommersant’s website today as G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors begin a two-day meeting in Moscow. The officials of the world’s leading economies meet amid concerns voiced in Germany and elsewhere that Japan and others might push for weaker exchange rates to make their exports more competitive.

“Competing efforts to weaken our exchange rates -- what some have dubbed a ‘currency war’ -- would leave only casualties in its wake and no victors,” Schaeuble said.

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