Reform IMF, World Bank, make them accountable: Bush

November 14th, 2008 - 12:46 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Nov 13 (IANS) US President George W. Bush Thursday said that key global financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank need to be made more accountable and transparent.In his speech on ‘Financial Markets and the World Economy’ at the prestigious Manhattan Institute in New York, Bush argued that the time had come to reform and modernise these financial institutions to reflect the realities of the present days.

Stressing that cooperation among the world’s financial authorities must be strengthened, Bush said: “To better reflect the realities of today’s global economy, both the IMF and World Bank should modernise their governance structures.”

The IMF and the World Bank should consider extending greater voting power to dynamic developing nations - particularly as they increase their contributions to these institutions. Several nations led by India, have been seeking more active role in the functioning and decision making apparatus of these world bodies.

Bush said both the IMF and the World Bank should also consider ways to streamline their executive boards and make them more representative.

“In addition to these important management changes, we should move forward with other significant reforms to make the IMF and World Bank more transparent, accountable, and effective,” he said.

For example, the IMF should agree to work more closely with member countries to ensure that exchange rate policies are market-oriented and fair. The World Bank should ensure its development programmes reflect the priorities of the people they are designed to serve and yield measurable results, Bush argued.

All this, the US president said, require decisive actions from governments around the world.

“At the same time, we must recognize that government intervention is not a cure-all. For example, some blame the crisis on insufficient regulation of the American mortgage market. But many European countries had much more extensive regulations and still experienced problems almost identical to our own,” Bush pointed out.

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