News / Asia

IMF Urges Decisive Action on Debt by US, Europe

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde (R) and IMFC Chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam hold a joint news conference at the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group in Tokyo, October 13, 2012.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde (R) and IMFC Chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam hold a joint news conference at the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group in Tokyo, October 13, 2012.
VOA NewsSteve Herman
Global finance ministers are calling for increasing the pace of reform to rebuild confidence at a time of faltering economic growth.

At their joint meeting with the World Bank in Tokyo, leaders of the International Monetary Fund issued a communique acknowledging economic growth is decelerating, amid risk and uncertainty.

The chairman of the IMF's steering committee, Singapore's Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, says the situation is improved from earlier in the year.

"We're in a better position now than we were six months ago. It remains challenging," he said. "There remain downside risks. And, in particular, we were all quite candid about the nature of those downside risks. The fiscal cliff in the U.S. and the uncertainties over how it will be resolved is a major uncertainty that affects the entire world. That's, in fact, a major spillover.”

Unless the U.S. Congress acts by the end of the year, cuts in spending and rises in taxes will automatically be implemented.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner acknowledged to his counterparts his country has made progress but still has much work to do in order for its fiscal affairs to be in order. His comment in Tokyo came hours after the U.S. Government announced the budget deficit was above one trillion dollars for the fourth straight year.

Frustration was also expressed among participants here with the slow pace of debt reform in Europe.

About the only disagreements to emerge publicly from the sessions concerned how much time troubled countries, such as Greece, should get to slash budgets and whether monetary easing intended to encourage more bank lending will actually destabilize markets while failing to prevent recession.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde says there was no objection to the recommendations given to the membership.

"I think there is a general consensus that collective action is going to produce results," she said.

But Lagarde's Global Policy Agenda - a written statement issued Saturday - sounded gloomy with expressions of frustration. It notes limited progress in addressing debt overhangs and weak financial systems and says confidence has not been restored because of continued uncertainty on key policies.

The IMF and World Bank governors' joint Development Committee is expressing concern that  financial crises “mean fewer jobs where millions are needed.” The committee also called on the bank to step up work with other agencies and donors to break the cycle of emergency aid for the Sahel, in Africa, where it says hunger threatens the lives of 19 million people and the stability of the region.

For the less fortunate in poorer countries, the IMF has announced it is devoting more than $1 billion from windfall sales of gold for low-cost loans.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid