Will President Barack Obama attend the summit of the Group of 20 rich and emerging countries in early April, hosted by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown to tackle the financial and economic crisis?

The working assumption is he will, on one of his first foreign trips as president. But there is still no official confirmation.

At the G20 summit in Washington on Nov. 15, Obama’s transition team stuck strictly to the rule: “There is only one president at a time”, and the president-elect did not meet any of the foreign summiteers.

Brown has warned that if the London summit fails, the world risks sliding into protectionism and a slump similar to the 1930s.

That raises uncomfortable echoes of an earlier London Economic Conference, called in June 1933 to tackle the Great Depression, revive trade and regulate currencies.