March 28, 2009 / 5:39 PM / 11 years ago

Biden cautions against over-regulating markets

(L-R) U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Argentina´s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Spain´s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Uruguay´s President Tabare Vazquez attend a group photo during a break at the Progressive Leaders' Summit in Vina del Mar, about 121 km (75 miles) northwest of Santiago March 28, 2009. REUTERS/Eliseo Fernandez

VINA DEL MAR, Chile (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday urged world leaders to act cautiously when redesigning global financial market regulations, amid growing calls for supervision from nations grappling with the global financial crisis.

Biden made the appeal to a clutch of fellow world leaders at a meeting in Chile billed as a pre-G20 warm-up, at which British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called for cross-border banking supervision and revamped international financial institutions.

Biden said the United States was eager to coordinate international policy at the G20 in London next week to reduce the systemic risk to global markets, but warned over-regulation could hurt healthy markets.

“We should not over-react. It is not a choice of markets or governments,” Biden told a round-table discussion that included Brown, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

“A free market still needs to be able to function. It seems to me, we need to save markets from free marketeers,” he added.

Biden spoke shortly after Lula attacked the free-market ideology he said had turned the world economy into a “gigantic casino” and called for strong policy responses to the crisis.

U.S. President Barack Obama has called on fellow G20 leaders to agree on immediate action to help boost the struggling global economy.

Reporting by Reese Ewing; editing by Simon Gardner and Mohammad Zargham

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