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May 6, 2015

Fed ready to take more action aimed at banking system safety: Yellen

WASHINGTON, May 6 (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet
Yellen on Wednesday said the central bank is prepared to take
further action to make the financial system safer, in a warning
to the banking industry and non-bank lenders.

In prepared remarks at the “Finance and Society” conference
held at the International Monetary Fund, Yellen outlined the
contributions of the banking system to society and the economy.

May 4, 2015

Exclusive: World Bank’s pension investments clash with principles

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The World Bank indirectly invests part of its $18.8 billion staff pension fund in companies in industries such as coal and tobacco, holdings that clash with the development institution’s own calls for ethical and low-carbon investing.

In an internal post to staff seen by Reuters, the World Bank’s treasurer said around 40 percent of the fund’s equity holdings are actively or passively invested against equity index funds, which include companies in industries associated with environmental and health problems.Two World Bank sources, who asked not to be identified, showed Reuters discussions between staff and managers on an internal site and a research note produced by employees. The note expressed concern about the pension and gave details of the holdings, questioning why the bank does not use socially responsible alternatives.

May 4, 2015

World Bank’s pension investments clash with principles

WASHINGTON, May 4 (Reuters) – The World Bank indirectly
invests part of its $18.8 billion staff pension fund in
companies in industries such as coal and tobacco, holdings that
clash with the development institution’s own calls for ethical
and low-carbon investing.

In an internal post to staff seen by Reuters, the World
Bank’s treasurer said around 40 percent of the fund’s equity
holdings are actively or passively invested against
equity index funds, which include companies in industries
associated with environmental and health problems.

Apr 18, 2015

IMF nations point to exchange rate, geopolitical risks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund’s member nations on Saturday warned of risks to the global economy from exchange rate shifts and geopolitical tensions as they took note of “moderate” global growth and “uneven prospects.”

While economies in developed countries have strengthened, some emerging nations are being hit by weaker commodity prices and exports, the IMF’s steering committee noted in a communique.

Apr 18, 2015

China wants to follow rules on currency basket: IMF official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China does not want to bend the rules in its favor to include the yuan in the IMF’s basket of major reserve currencies, the No. 2 official at the International Monetary Fund said.

Beijing tightly controls the yuan’s movements and has strong capital controls, but it is pushing for increased use of the currency for trade and investment as part of a long-term strategic goal to reduce dependence on the dollar and to raise its global economic clout.

Apr 18, 2015

IMF warns clear fiscal reform plan key to success of BOJ’s stimulus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Japan must come up with and implement a clear, specific plan to cut its huge debt pile in order to make its monetary stimulus effective, the IMF’s mission chief for the country said, warning Tokyo against loosening its grip on fiscal consolidation.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe put off a sales tax hike last year and has been slow in pushing through painful spending cuts, arguing that Japan should focus more on boosting tax revenues by reflating the economy with stimulus.

Apr 18, 2015

G20 discusses plans to sidestep U.S. on IMF reforms

WASHINGTON, April 17 (Reuters) – The Group of 20 leading
economies on Friday discussed ways to raise emerging countries’
voting rights at the IMF as part of an effort to move past U.S.
foot-dragging on reforms to the institution, but they failed to
reach an agreement.

The IMF’s member countries agreed in 2010 to give more
voting power to countries like China and India, double the
Fund’s resources, and reduce the dominance of Western Europe on
its 24-member board.

Apr 17, 2015

G20 more upbeat on growth, but officials fret over Greece

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Group of 20 leading economies struck a hopeful tone on the outlook for global growth on Friday, even as officials fretted that Athens’ inability to strike a deal with its lenders could upset Europe’s tentative recovery.

In a communique after a two-day meeting, G20 finance ministers and central bankers welcomed brighter economic signs in rich nations, but lamented weakness in emerging markets.

Apr 17, 2015

G20 to sidestep U.S. on IMF reforms: draft communique

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Group of 20 leading economies was set on Friday to agree to a proposal that would raise the voting rights of emerging countries at the IMF, an attempt to move past U.S. foot-dragging on reforms to the institution.

The IMF’s member countries agreed in 2010 to reform the institution to give more voting power to countries like China and India, double the Fund’s resources, and reduce the dominance of Western Europe on its 24-member board.

Apr 16, 2015

IMF’s Lagarde says Greece should not delay payments

WASHINGTON, April 16 (Reuters) – The head of the
International Monetary Fund on Thursday signaled she would not
grant a payment delay to Greece, as it had never been done for
an advanced economy and the Fund should protect its safe
reputation.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said a Greek delay
on its repayments to the Fund would not be recommended in the
current situation.