US mortgage crisis may cost 945 bln dlrs worldwide: IMF

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2008 (AFP) – The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday the worldwide losses stemming from the US subprime mortgage crisis could hit 945 billion dollars as the impact spreads in the global economy. The IMF, in a particularly stark report, said that falling US housing prices and rising delinquencies on the residential mortgage market could lead to losses of 565 billion dollars.

Combined with other categories of loans originated and securities issued in the United States related to commercial real estate, the consumer credit market, and corporations “increases aggregate potential losses to about 945 billion dollars,” it said.

“The crisis is spreading beyond the US subprime market — namely to the prime residential and commercial real estate markets, consumer credit, and the low- to high grade corporate credit markets,” the IMF said in releasing its semiannual Global Financial Stability Report.

While the US remains the epicenter, “financial institutions in other countries have also been affected, reflecting the same overly benign global financial conditions and to varying degrees — weaknesses in risk management systems and prudential supervision.”

It was the first time the multilat