Bringing U.S. role down in IMF

French Finance minister Christine Lagarde (right), Greek counterpart George Alogoskoufis (left) and Cypriot counterpart Charilaos Stavrakis (center) on before the start of an Economy and Finance Council meeting at E.U. headquarters in Brussels -- November 4, 2008


Steve Chiotakis: Meanwhile, finance ministers from the European Union meet in Brussels today to talk about the global financial crisis. One of their aims: a way to deal with the fallout. From our European desk, Stephen Beard has more.

Stephen Beard: Today's meeting will attempt to redress what many regard as an imbalance of financial power. One point of discussion will be the International Monetary Fund, which bails out economies in distress.

The French in particular are calling for a radical shake-up. They want the IMF to reflect the new economic reality, and for emerging economies like China and India to play a bigger role. This will mean a smaller role for the U.S., which has dominated the IMF since it was set up more than 60 years ago.

Phillip White is the Center for European Reform:

Phillip White: The U.S. is condemned to a period of relative decline. And the emergence of countries like China and India will at some point have to be reflected in international organizations like the International Monetary Fund.

Today's meeting in Brussels paves the way for a bigger summit on this issue in Washington next week. Countries like China and India will attend. But major decisions are not expected until well after America's new president takes office.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.
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Everyone needs a wake-up call! We need to get it through our extremely thick skulls that what we are doing is not working. And the bailout plan is a nice idea but it will never work.

I think Europe needs to get a reality check. The U.S role in the IMF is not going away for awhile. Personally I would love to see other countries step up to the plate but, as we have just seen lately, China, India and these other emerging economies are to dependent on U.S consumer and business sales. For another country to BEGIN to finally take a lead role equal or over the U.S, a country must not only be able to increase production but, be less dependent on foregin markets as well. China is getting there but, not there yet, not close. When China's middle class can afford more and they produce goods not just provide service to foreign businesses then we will see another hard liner in IMF and world economy not now though.

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