8 Feb 2009

IMF urges faster action

9:33 am on 8 February 2009

The head of the International Monetary Fund says economic stimulus packages and a clean-up of banks must be accelerated to avert "a repeat of the Great Depression".

IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said on Saturday that stimulus measures announced so far were nearing the IMF's goal of about 2% of global GDP.

But he said "implementation takes time."

Mr Strauss-Kahn said there were still losses in the banking sector that remain undisclosed, and confidence in the financial markets would not return that until the balance sheets are cleaned up.

"Loss of confidence is now the central problem," he said. "Governments and central banks should credibly commit to measures sufficient to eliminate the risk of a repeat of the Great Depression."