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Jul 9, 2015

IMF lowers global growth forecasts, cites U.S. weakness

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund on Thursday trimmed its forecast for global economic growth for this year to take into account the impact of recent weakness in the United States.

But the global financial institution said growth prospects for next year remain undimmed, despite Greece’s debt crisis and recent volatility in Chinese financial markets.

Jul 1, 2015

IMF’s Lagarde says Greece must reform before debt relief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – One day after Greece became the first developed economy to default on a loan with the International Monetary Fund, the head of the international lender on Wednesday suggested that Greece should move to reform its economy before its European creditors give it a break on its debt.

In an interview with Reuters, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde was asked which should come first, commitments to reform by Athens or relief on its debts from euro zone governments.

Jun 29, 2015

Despite Lagarde’s initial reluctance, IMF on the hook for Greece

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As French Finance Minister in 2010, Christine Lagarde opposed the involvement of the International Monetary Fund in Greece.

Now as the country stands on the edge of defaulting on a 1.6 billion euro ($1.8 billion) payment to the Fund, Lagarde’s tenure at the head of the IMF since 2011 will be shaped by Greece, which holds a referendum on Sunday that could pave the way to its exit from the euro.

Jun 12, 2015

IMF angry at Greeks but frustrated at euro zone too

WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS, June 12 (Reuters) – When the
International Monetary Fund announced it had ordered its team
home from stalled debt talks with Greece, the gesture of
frustration was aimed chiefly at Athens but also at euro zone
governments, sources familiar with the talks say.

The pullback partly reflected exasperation at the chaotic
way in which the talks have been conducted, with technical
experts denied access to Athens’ public accounts, kept cooped up
in hotels and latterly forced to cool their heels while talks
moved to a political level involving government leaders.

Jun 11, 2015

IMF quits Greek talks; EU tells Tsipras: stop gambling

WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund dramatically raised the stakes in Greece’s stalled debt talks on Thursday, announcing that its delegation had broken off negotiations in Brussels and flown home because of major differences with Athens.

The surprise IMF announcement came as the European Union told leftist Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras bluntly to stop gambling with his cash-strapped country’s future and take crucial decisions needed to avert a devastating default.

Jun 10, 2015

World Bank sees slower global growth, urges Fed to wait on rates

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The World Bank on Wednesday cut its global growth outlook for this year and urged countries to “fasten their seat belts” as they adjust to lower commodity prices and a looming rise in U.S. interest rates.

Kaushik Basu, the World Bank’s chief economist, said the Federal Reserve should hold off on a rate hike until next year to avoid worsening exchange rate volatility and crimping global growth.

Jun 2, 2015

IMF economists say some countries can ‘just live with’ high debt

WASHINGTON, June 2 (Reuters) – Some countries with high
public debt levels might be able to “just live with it,” because
cutting back carries its own risks, three IMF officials said in
a paper that disputes decades of dogma about the benefits of
austerity.

The euro zone and other advanced economies have struggled
with ballooning debt in the wake of the 2007-09 global financial
crisis. Some have faced pressure to satisfy markets through fast
fiscal consolidation.

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.