The world is now in a much better situation than six months ago when it comes to policy solutions, according to Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance , who is Chair of the IMF's policy-setting committee, the IMFC, speaking about the outcome of the IMF-World Bank annual meetings in Tokyo.
The Great Recession has destroyed the possibility of consuming and investing on cheap and easily available credit without regard to quality. Households in major industrial countries will have to borrow less and save more than they did before the crisis. At the moment, interest rates are extremely low while central banks try to offset the withdrawal of credit from financial institutions, but when rates return to normal levels the new reality of expensive credit will register fully.
The Managing Director of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, begins a six-day trip to Asia. First he's in Singapore attending the 16th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Finance Ministers’ Meeting, and then goes on to China November 16-17, one of the region’s most dynamic economies.