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IMF Seeks to Raise Lending Power by Up to $500 Billion Amid Europe Crisis

Published: January 19, 2012
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Source: Bloomberg

The International Monetary Fund is proposing to raise its lending capacity by as much as $500 billion to insulate the global economy against any worsening of Europe’s debt crisis.

The Washington-based lender is aiming to increase its resources after identifying a potential need for $1 trillion in financing in coming years, an IMF spokesman said in a statement. The IMF is studying options and will not comment further until it has consulted its members, the fund said. To incorporate a cash buffer, the lender is seeking a total $600 billion.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said yesterday her staff is looking at ways to expand the fund’s war-chest, which currently has about $385 billion available. While euro-region nations have already pledged to contribute 150 billion euros ($192 billion), the U.S. has said it has no plans to make new bilateral loans and leaders of Group of 20 nations ended last year at odds over the issue.

“The biggest challenge is to respond to the crisis in an adequate manner and many executive directors stressed the necessity and urgency of collective efforts to contain the debt crisis in the euro area and protect economies around the world,” Lagarde said yesterday in an e-mailed statement following a discussion among her institution’s board of directors.

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