One World Economy
(RAW STORY) The International Monetary Fund wants more power to police the global financial system and a bigger role in emergency financing, managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said Friday.
In a speech to the Bretton Woods Committee, a finance reform think tank in Washington, D.C., he claimed that a stronger IMF also warrants a new global reserve currency that would serve as an alternative to the U.S. dollar.
“Strauss-Kahn said such an asset could be similar to but distinctly different from the IMF’s special drawing rights, or SDRs, the accounting unit that countries use to hold funds within the IMF,”ABC News reported. “It is based on a basket of major currencies.”
“One day, the Fund might even be called upon to provide a globally issued reserve asset, similar to — but in important respects different from — the SDR,” he said.
Strauss-Kahn added that “having several suppliers of reserve assets would limit the extent to which the international monetary system as a whole depends on the policies and conditions of a single, albeit dominant, country.”
“The challenge ahead is to find ways to limit the tension arising from the high demand for precautionary reserves on the one hand and the narrow supply of reserves on the other,” he also said, according to ABC.
Both China and Moscow support such a plan, but U.S. leaders have vehemently insisted that empowering the IMF’s special drawing rights, or establishing another fund with a global pull similar to the dollar, is not necessary.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has also offered its supportto the idea, suggesting that an as-yet-unformed regulatory committee oversee the new currency, which would be traded almost exclusively by governments.
European leaders such as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have also called for an expanded role for the IMF in the emerging global economy.
The IMF’s special drawing rights were created in 1969as a way of supplementing countries’ currency reserves. Their value is determined by a formula based on the values of the US dollar, the British pound, the Japanese yen and the Euro. The IMF has been using SDRs to help shore up the finances of poorer nations amid recent economic uncertainty.
“There may be a need for a clearer mandate to pursue risks for global economic stability, but also — I stress — for financial stability,” Strauss-Kahn said.
“During the crisis, the Fund proved its worth to the world.”
But Strauss-Kahn said that as the world slowly emerges from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, “we must build on this positive momentum: to transform the Fund into an institution even better equipped to meet the challenges of the post-crisis era.”
The bulk of the IMF’s efforts today are conducted on a country-specific basis, but this will not be sufficient to avoid or even dampen a major crisis in the future.
The 186-nation IMF already provides economic assessments of individual member countries and publishes reports on the world economic outlook and the stability of the global financial system.
But in the years preceding the crisis, the Fund did not foresee the risk from a US housing meltdown that led to a credit crisis and a financial firestorm that engulfed the globe.
“We are floating the idea of a new multilateral surveillance procedure. This would allow — indeed require — the Fund to assess the broader and systemic effects of country-level policies, and the associated risks, in a fundamentally different way,” Strauss-Kahn said.
The role of guardian of systemic stability would be backed up by new financial firepower.
The IMF has tripled its lending capacity over the past year, to 850 billion dollars, thanks to loans from member countries. The expanded financial resources “should be sufficient to meet demand in the coming period,” he said.
Strauss-Kahn recalled that in the global crisis, key emerging market economies seeking financial lifelines had not turned to the Fund as the “first responder,” but instead approached the US Federal Reserve and other central banks for currency swaps.
“In this context, we are currently exploring various options — including for short-term, multi-country credit lines that the Fund might extend in a systemic crisis,” he said.
Strauss-Kahn proposed increasing the flexibility and accessibility of the new Flexible Credit Line that the IMF created last March.
Available to any member country whose economy is deemed well-managed by the Washington-based institution, the facility currently allows Mexico, Colombia and Poland to tap credit as needed.
Strauss-Kahn also suggested the IMF could work with “regional reserve pools” which he said “can be a positive and stabilizing force in international financing.”
He cited the IMF’s recent cooperation with European Union lending to help three EU members: Hungary, Latvia and Romania.
(PRISON PLANET) Senior US Treasury Dept. Official William Pizer, the current Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Energy is simultaneously a sitting council member on the Global Environment Facility ( www.thegef.org ), one of the largest funders of projects to “improve the global environment” (i.e. push through fraud-based carbon cap-and-trade programs).
This ‘Facility’, while not claiming to be a bank, at the same time calls it itself “An independent financial organization” (see http://www.thegef.org/interior_right.aspx?id=50#GEF%20History ).
Isn’t it illegal (or at the very least unethical) for a senior member of the Treasury Department to openly sit as a member of a huge foreign bank (oops – “facility)? illegal (or at the very least unethical) for a senior member of the Treasury Department to openly sit as a member of a huge foreign bank (oops – “facility)?
This is only one of dozens of questions that should be asked about this organization, but we as tax-paying Americans should find someone who can answer this question, because it seems to me that either:
1) We need a law passed to stop such a high official holding two such posts and potentially using their influence and position in the US Treasury to move untold millions into the coffers of what is effectively a foreign bank or . . .
2) There is a law and someone needs to file a federal lawsuit
Pizer’s name/contact info. appear on the GEF website here (just scroll down a bit):
This is no small matter: I found this organization while researching information given by George Hunt on an Alex Jones Show interview last January (see http://www.infowars.com/the-inner-workings-of-a-one-world-new-age-government-alex-interviews-george-hunt/), and George Hunt claims this organzation was founded by Edmond de Rothschild and Maurice Strong (originally to be named the “World Conservation Bank”), and its purpose is to engulf all other banks.
In the interview, George played numerous audio clips proving Edmond De Rothschild, Maurice Strong, as well as former Treas. Sec. James A Baker III, and the then heads of the IMF and World Bank were involved in promoting this new bank at the Fourth World Wilderness Congress in 1987 in Colorado.
The very fact that you can’t find any information on who actually started this bank is suspicious in itself , given its size and massive UN backing: the Wikipedia entry on this organization merely parrots that which is on the ” thegef.org ” website, and also does not explain its origin:
The Wikipedia entry states “The Global Environment Facility was established in October 1991 as a $1 billion pilot program in the World Bank to assist in the protection of the global environment and to promote environmental sustainable development”.
Established by who?
The GEF’s verbose and acronymn-laden 2008 annual report brags of the millions of dollars ostensibly transferred from 1st world nations to poorer nations to help clean up their environment, but it offers zero details on where the money came from other than simple pie charts showing broad categories such as “government”, “NGO”, etc.:
Everyone should contact their US senator or congressman, as well as the US Attorney General and demand an investigation into this obvious appearance of impropriety on the part of the US Treasury Department
Jeff in Tx
(The United Nations (UN) has licensed the minting of gold bullion coins bearing its logo to provide a “public option” world savings currency.
According to the Vancouver Examiner, Oro gold coins are hoped to contribute to making the UN better funded by 2015, with revenue rising by ten to 15 per cent.
The coins are set to be produced in Europe and then distributed globally, with any licensee able to produce such bullion under contract.
Armand Dufour of the European Bank says that he welcomes the introduction of the gold coins.
However, he goes on to add that there is a danger that if the US dollar weakens, there will be a strong move towards the Oro.
In turn this could potentially drive the value of the coin up to a level where international governments will not allow it to be circulated.
UN coins were previously made purely for commemoration in the 1970s, but they hold no monetary value.
The Dollar Collapses: Commodities, stocks and foreign currencies all rise as investors sell dollars.
(Forbes 9/8/09) – By: Carl Gutierrez
The U.S. dollar reached its lowest point against the euro this year due to a myriad of forces including rising global stocks and commodities prices, low interest rates, and investors diversifying out of Treasury debt and into other assets including U.S. stocks with the Dow Jones industrial average approaching 9500 in late afternoon trading.
Stocks in Asia and Europe saw big gains, and gold topped $1,000 an ounce. (See “Stocks, Commodities Rally After Long Weekend.”) Oil also gained 4.9%, or $3.31, to $71.33, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, due in part to Goldman Sachs affirming its year-long outlook. By midday trading one euro traded for $1.45, meanwhile the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell to its lowest level since September of 2008.
“It isn’t as if the fundamentals are better in Europe,” said Jessica Hoversen, a foreign exchange and fixed income futures analyst at MF Global. “There are other factors outside of economic growth taking hold in the market.”
Japan’s special drawing rights holdings hit a record $18.5 billion, from $3 billion in July. SDRs are the currency of the International Monetary Fund and other international institutions. It’s a basket of currencies composed of the dollar, euro, sterling and yen in a fixed weighting determined by the IMF and World Bank every five years.
One of the reasons cited for the rise is an increased in commitment in overseas aid, but Hoversen noted that to a certain degree it speaks to the general demand for the dollar, and that scares the market. “It doesn’t necessarily mean diversification away from the dollar, but there is a heightened sensitivity about the topic,” Hoversen said.
Currency investors have been obsessed with the prospect of central banks diversifying out of the dollar. (See “Spotlight On The Dollar.”) The fixation has been fueled by meetings under the G20/G8 framework, as well as candid comments from some of the largest reserve managers, namely Russia and China. The prospects of a massive diversification are low though, at least in the short-term, because most of the alternatives, including using SDRs as a global reverse currency are unrealistic.
The three-month London Interbank Offer Rate, commonly known as the Libor, which reached a record low of 30 basis points and that also contributed to the dollar’s slide. “It makes the dollar the cheapest interest rate differential in the G10 on a Libor basis,” Hoversen said.
The dollar’s fall follows a United Nations report released Monday calling for a reduced role of the dollar as the world’s primary reserve currency.
“This is not the first time the U.N. has called for this, but it’s the most recent,” Hoversen said. The report, which was produced by the U.N. conference on Trade and Development, stated that a viable solution to the exchange-rate problem would be a system of managed flexible exchange rates targeting a rate that is consistent with a sustainable current-account position.
“What the U.N. may be trying to do is eliminate global dependence on the dollar,” Hoversen said. “However, more details would be needed on the mechanism for adjustment to judge how it would affect the global currency markets.”
To be sure, the U.S. isn’t solely responsible for the global imbalance. While the U.S. current account deficit is being funded by developing countries, the demand from developed countries is improving their living standards. Meanwhile, developing countries have kept their currencies low in order to stimulate economic growth via their export market, and ultimately change will be required on both sides. (See “Decouple Or Die.”)
Hoversen also pointed out that curves of the overnight index swaps have Norway and Australia pricing interest rate hikes first. “They gain on the idea the global economy is going to recover,” Hoversen said. “Their central banks have also been more hawkish than other banks.” Commodity-based economies will be on the ground floor of supplying the increased demand. Moreover, Australia and New Zealand will be greater beneficiaries of the Chinese stimulus than other commodity currencies. G20 members also promised to keep fiscal and monetary stimulus running on full cylinders, suggesting an increased amount of risk, Hoversen said.
The president’s statement was made during British Prime Minister Gordon Brown visit to Brazil on Thursday on his attempt to push for a global economy. Later at the G20 summit on Tuesday Gordon said: “World leaders also must manage globalization to prevent a repeat of the mistakes that led to the current financial crisis,”
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made the comments after talks with Gordon Brown to try to forge a global consensus on how to save the worldwide economy.
During a press conference, da Silva, who told Brown poor countries should not have to suffer because of the mistakes of the rich. “This is a crisis that was caused by white people with blue eyes. And before the crisis, they looked as if they knew everything about economics.” Said the President in front of the visiting British prime minister, who incidentally only has one eye.
Sky News’ Joey Jones said it was an “uncomfortable” moment for Brown.
“The President does not mind using fairly flamboyant language. He likes to give extensive answers to journalists,” he said. “But some of it was rather awkward for the Prime Minister, who was standing there listening to the President. A few eyebrows will have gone up at what he said.”
Downing Street says the remarks made by da Silva, who is white, were meant for “domestic consumption.”
Jones said: “People in Brazil are very frustrated and angry at what they feel is the injustice of the situation: a crisis that has essentially come from the banking sectors in places like the United States and the U.K., but is affecting their country.”
Following the meeting, Brown told reporters he will urge G20 leaders to back a multi-billion dollar fund to reverse a slide in world trade.
“I’m going to ask the G20summit next week to support a global expansion of trade finance of at least $100 billion to help revive trade in all parts of the world,” he said.
A shortage of trade credit, which allows exporters and importers to settle accounts, has been a factor in a sharp drop in global trade which is exacerbating the economic downturn.
Along with the trade stimulus plan, the Prime Ministersaid he wanted to see global standards on salaries in the finance sector.
He went on to say he believes South America is key to achieving an agreement at next week’s G20 summit in London.