April 26, 2009

Financial chiefs broaden IMF’s role

The International Monetary Fund's role will be broadened to include keeping a close eye on the world's economies, financial officials say.

The group of international financial ministers and central bankers who comprise the IMF's policy-setting body met in Washington Saturday, moving to reshape its mission to closely monitor potential economic trouble spots as well as giving developing nations such as China, Brazil and India more say within the institution, The Washington Post reported.

The decision signaled what was being seen as a broad, global endorsement of a shift in thinking at the fund first outlined by world leaders at the Group of 20 economic summit in London this month, the newspaper said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, a member of the IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee, told reporters that Washington had agreed to let the group rigorously review the U.S. financial system for the first time since the fund was created at the end of World War II.

Additionally, the IMF will drop its longstanding policy of demanding strict enforcement of financial policies within countries accepting loans, officials told the Post.