WASHINGTON, Oct 20, 2007 (AFP) – Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega slammed the International Monetary Fund Saturday for having been lax in its handling of a US housing-related credit crisis that roiled global markets. “Allow me to point out the irony of this situation,” Mantega told IMF policymakers at the opening of annual meetings here of the IMF and the World Bank.
“Countries that were references of good governance, of standards and codes for the financial systems, these are the very countries that are facing serious problems of financial fragility putting at risk the prosperity of the world economy,” he told the 24-member IMF steering committee, referring to major industrialized nations.
The finance minister of the emerging Latin American powerhouse bluntly reproached the IMF for its stance during financial turmoil that “has its epicenter in the United States,” by far the largest shareholder in the 185-nation IMF.
“The Fund had little to say that was practical about this crisis,” he said. “It has been excessively cautious in its recommendations. It justifies this caution by pointing to the unprecedented nature of the problems.”
Mantega said the IMF “appears to be inadequately equipped to face su