WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The following are highlights of comments by finance ministers and central bankers in Washington this week for meetings of the Group of 20 and the semiannual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
“We’re somewhat encouraged by the stance of European authorities.”
“There’s some progress here but...in the end this is about action, it’s not about analysis and plans.”
“It is more likely now that the second half of 2011 will be less positive than expected and the key question is whether the current slowdown in the global economy is largely a transitory phenomenon... Could it lead to a double-dip or is it just a soft patch? This is the issue we will have to monitor.”
WORLD BANK DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE COMMUNIQUE ON COMMODITY PRICES:
“We note with concern the turbulence in global financial markets and widespread fiscal strains, which put at risk the robustness and sustainability of global economic recovery. Volatile commodity prices and pressures on food security are critical challenges. We are alert to the possible global impacts of these issues, particularly for the poor.”
GREEK FINANCE MINISTER EVANGELOS VENIZELOS, IN A STATEMENT
“Greece will always be in the euro and Greece will never go bankrupt.
“Because this would be destructive for the euro zone and for many other countries beyond the euro zone.
“There is a series of events that will follow: the troika will return, the sixth tranche will be paid... so that we can really achieve a sustainable debt in the long term.”
PEOPLE’S BANK OF CHINA GOVERNOR ZHOU XIAOCHUAN ON CHINA’S GDP, GLOBAL
“Perhaps some people may have an irrational hope that the higher growth, the better, you may expect 15 percent or 20 percent, but that’s not realistic and not sustainable.”
“The reasonable expectation probably should be somewhere around 8 percent or 10 percent. So, I think actually that China already played quite a positive role in this regard.”
ANGEL GURRIA, SECRETARY-GENERAL Organization FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT ON FISCAL CONSOLIDATION;
“We have been saying from the very beginning that it is necessary to do something about the debt situation because it is perceived as being out of control, but at the same time, go structural for the medium-long term, go social for the near term because there are still too many victims of the crisis — 13 million unemployed that were not there before only in the OECD.”
“I am encouraged by the awesome firepower that is being put in place. There’s the ECB, whose capacities are quite considerable. In a few days time we will have the EFSF with new-given capacity and more flexibility to really leverage its work and give a greater diversity of products and to be able to accommodate different situations. Then you have the central banks of the different countries and you have countries where they are really moving toward a rather credible, almost tangible situation on the fiscal side.”
“If you have inflationary pressures which have been manifesting themselves, having a somewhat stronger currency helps to bring down those pressures. It also gives more consumption power to the people for which this would be welcome. You have this balancing.”
ALEXANDRE TOMBINI, PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL’S CENTRAL BANK:
“We are at a very critical juncture now combining sovereign risk and slow growth. So this is a combination that might stay with us for a while and it certainly anticipates a very difficult period. Brazil’s experience with past crises suggests you have to confront the problems in a fast, consistent manner. The longer it takes, the higher the cost, the more contagion spreads. You have to act with overwhelming force.”