Worldwide talks on liberalizing access to financial markets have slowed down with little prospect that they will succeed before a Dec. 12 deadline, according to a well-placed official.

"The jury's out at the moment, and there's no way of knowing which way the talks will go," said Thomas L. Farmer, general counsel at the Washington-based Bankers' Association for Foreign Trade. "Basically there's nothing in terms of offers on the table from the key countries we're interested in."

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