"Los Cabos will not be the final word on the eurozone," said Mike Froman, deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs.
Even beyond Europe, from Asia to the Americas, the economy is softening and fears are soaring.
The G-20 is meant to serve as the premier voice of economic coordination, representing not just traditional powers but emerging economies. Its members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.
Obama's advisers do see the G-20 as a chance for the European nations to add some definition to their plans and show how they will put aside sovereign concerns to avoid calamity.
That pressure can help, said Matthew Goodman, who formerly oversaw the G-20 planning for Obama as director of international economics on the National Security Council staff.
"If you have to go into a meeting with peers and explain yourself, it gives the Europeans some ammunition when they have to try to sell these changes domestically," said Goodman, a specialist in political economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "They can say, 'This is what the world expects.'"
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