IMF missing in financial crisis: Shaukat Aziz

MANILA: Former Pakistani Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz accused the International Monetary Fund Thursday of failing to show leadership during what he described as a ‘historic’ global financial crisis. As world leaders met to shore up distressed financial institutions, Aziz charged “this global institution which is supposed to look at everything going on was not even in the room where meetings are going on.” Speaking at an international business conference in Manila, the former finance minister and Citigroup banker said interest rate cuts, recapitalisation of banks and liquidity injections, while helpful, would not solve the problem. “The very fabric of the global financial system is under threat,” Aziz said. “Everybody is looked at by different regulators. There is no synergy,” he said. “If we don’t have that, we will continue to have the problems that we have today.” Aziz, credited with reviving the Pakistani economy through reform measures when he became finance minister in 1999 and later as prime minister in 2004, said there was a need to boost the IMF’s regulatory powers and create a more powerful body. “The world is becoming increasingly specialised,” he said, adding that existing systemic threats beyond the agency’s traditional monetary policy role must be addressed. “A robust regulatory regime must touch all the stakeholders,” he added, with reference to the credit rating agencies that have come in for criticism amid the crisis. afp

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