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A New Bretton Woods Moment By Kristalina Georgieva, IMF Managing Director Washington, DC


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https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2020/10/15/sp101520-a-new-bretton-woods-moment

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Today we face a new Bretton Woods “moment.” A pandemic that has already cost more than a million lives. An economic calamity that will make the world economy 4.4 % smaller this year and strip an estimated $11 trillion of output by next year. And untold human desperation in the face of huge disruption and rising poverty for the first time in decades.

Once again, we face two massive tasks: to fight the crisis today—  and build a better tomorrow.

We know what action must be taken right now. A durable economic recovery is only possible if we beat the pandemic. Health measures must remain a priority—I urge you to support production and distribution of effective therapies and vaccines to ensure that all countries have access.

I also urge you to continue support for workers and businesses until a durable exit from the health crisis.

We have seen global fiscal actions of $12 trillion. Major central banks have expanded balance sheets by $7.5 trillion. These synchronized measures have prevented the destructive macro-financial feedback we saw in previous crises.

But almost all countries are still hurting, especially emerging market and developing economies. And while the global banking system entered the crisis with high capital and liquidity buffers, there is a weak tail of banks in many in emerging markets. We must take measures to prevent the build-up of financial risks over the medium term.

We face what I have called a Long Ascent for the global economy: a climb that will be difficult, uneven, uncertain—and prone to setbacks.

But it is a climb up. And we will have a chance to address some persistent problems — low productivity, slow growth, high inequalities, a looming climate crisis. We can do better than build back the pre-pandemic world – we can build forward to a world that is more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive.

We must seize this new Bretton Woods moment.

 

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