Wednesday, October 29, 2008
IMF, too is running out of cash
British Premier Gordon Brown yesterday warned that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) might not have enough money to halt the spread of financial "contagion" through the world's economies. Embarking on a diplomatic offensive to secure hundreds of billions of dollars in additional financial support for the IMF, Brown called for immediate action. His intervention came after Hungary and Ukraine accepted IMF assistance to prop up their battered economies as the financial crisis has torn through Eastern Europe. The 250 billion dollar fund currently available to the IMF to lend to financially stricken states "may not be enough". "It is becoming increasingly clear to me that we cannot delay and that we now need substantial additional resources in addition to the 250 billion dollars the IMF already has available," he said. Aides later refused to set a figure but said the required cash was likely to run into hundreds of billions. The premier did not rule out a British contribution to the enhanced fund, but made clear he believed the bulk of any additional money should come from China and the oil rich states of the Gulf. "Yes, we will play our part, but the biggest part can be played by countries that have got the biggest surpluses," he said.