Finish the Job on Financial Regulation


GFSRBy José Viñals

Brisbane and Basel may be 10,000 miles apart, but when it comes to financial regulation the two cities will be standing cheek by jowl.

At the next summit of the Group of Twenty advanced and emerging economies, to be held in Brisbane in November, political leaders will take the pulse of the global financial regulatory reform agenda, launched five years ago. The explicit goal of the Australian G-20 presidency is to finally complete these essential reforms. As Prime Minister Tony Abbott said today in Davos, “Financial regulation is always a work-in-progress, but these reforms now need to be finalized in ways that promote confidence without eliminating risk.”

I strongly support this extra push to create a safer financial system that can better support the needs of the real economy, and better protect taxpayers. For far too long, critics have been able to portray the G-20 reform agenda as a regulatory supertanker stuck in the shallow waters of technical complexity, financial industry pushback, and diverging national views. This image is increasingly off the mark.

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Lagarde in Davos: How to Avoid an Economic Deep Freeze


By iMFdirect

Amid the heaviest snowfall in Davos for decades, IMF chief Christine Lagarde has been making her case for urgent action to resolve the eurozone crisis, which is at the center of current global economic concerns. The Fund recently sharply revised downward its forecast for global economic growth and in a speech in Berlin Lagarde mapped a way forward.

Policy priorities

Lagarde has taken her messages to the Alpine resort in Switzerland, where global leaders are gathered for the 42nd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum. At the top of the agenda is the need to find and implement the policy solutions to avoid a downward economic spiral—or what Lagarde as has called a “1930s moment.” She set out some of the policy priorities in a video interview and stressed the need for policy action to be “coordinated, cooperative and comprehensive”. The main goal is to get growth going again “because that’s most needed. There is too much unemployment around the world,” Lagarde said. Continue reading

More to Do on Financial Sector Tax, Says IMF’s Lipsky


In an interview from Davos, Switzerland, the IMF’s First Deputy Managing Director John Lipsky said that although the mood among delegates is more upbeat than it was one year ago during the crisis, people still have concerns about the resilience of the economic recovery.

In its latest world economic outlook, released just ahead of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, the IMF is forecasting that world growth will bounce back from negative territory in 2009 to 3.9 percent this year and 4.3 percent in 2011.

Lipsky also said it was clear that decision makers feel under intense political pressure to act on financial sector regulation. A consensus on how to move ahead on a financial sector tax hasn’t emerged yet, but Lipsky said that a process initiated by the G-20 industrialized and emerging market countries will play a key role in making decisions about the issue.

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