Reuters, last month:
LONDON, Jan 26 – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned on Monday against a retreat into financial protectionism as the global economic downturn gathers pace.
With sterling near record lows against the yen and 23-year lows against the dollar, Brown also reiterated that his government policy was not built around currency exchange rates.
“We have not yet seen the same protectionism in trade with beggar-thy-neighbour policies of the ’30s,” he told reporters, referring to the Great Depression. “And I will fight hard to ensure we do not. But we also need to ensure we do not exercise a new form of financial mercantilism of retreat into domestic lending and domestic financial markets.
Reuters, this month, from Berlin:
BERLIN, Feb 22 – European leaders meeting in Berlin on Sunday have backed oversight of all financial markets and products, including hedge funds, and urged that sanctions be drawn up to punish tax havens, according to a final statement seen by Reuters.
Where was Gordon? Apparently he was there. Perhaps he has changed his mind about financial mercantilism in the meantime.