IMF sees risk of global credit crisis worsening

WASHINGTON - The global credit crisis could intensify, and world central banks must be ready to consider a wide range of actions to safeguard the economy, an International Monetary Fund official said on Wednesday.

By (Reuters)

Published: Thu 13 Mar 2008, 12:01 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:19 PM

“By now, there is little doubt that risks of further escalation of this crisis are rising and decisive policy action will be required to put the global financial system and economy on a firmer footing,” John Lipsky, first deputy managing director of the IMF, said in a speech at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

He said monetary policy alone may not be enough, and all options -- including the use of public funds -- should be considered.

“We must keep all options on the table, including the potential use of public funds to safeguard the financial system,” he said. “While I am not advocating the use of taxpayer funds for individual banks, I fully recognize an appropriate role for public sector intervention after market solutions have been exhausted.”

Lipsky said Tuesday’s coordinated efforts by world central banks to unclog financial markets were “helpful,” but said monetary policy may be less effective in the current crisis. He said borrowing costs in the United States remained stubbornly high even after Federal Reserve interest rate cuts.

He said the U.S. central bank had acted “appropriately.” The European Central Bank, which has kept rates on hold because of concerns about steep inflation, could respond “flexibly if downside risks to growth intensify and inflation risks decline,” Lipsky said.

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