IMF, World Bank meet amid financial mayhem

WASHINGTON, October 11, 2008 (AFP) – The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank opened their annual meetings Saturday in the midst of global financial chaos that has governments racing to find the means to tame it.

The meetings follow Wall Street’s worst week on record and a pledge by the Group of Seven major economies late Friday to use “all available tools” to support major banks and prevent their failure.

Finance leaders from the twin institutions’ 185 member nations and private financiers gathered in Washington in search of an effective response to the crisis that has slowed the advanced economies to a standstill.

US President George W. Bush, who hosted a crisis meeting early Saturday at the White House with G7 finance chiefs, said that the world’s richest economies agreed the financial meltdown requires “a serious global response.”

Bush met for about 40 minutes with G7 finance ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, as well as International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and World Bank President Robert Zoellick.

But the US president unveiled no new proposals to combat the fast-moving global financial crisis, the worst since the 1930s Great Depressio