Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa called Tuesday for restructuring the Bretton Woods global economic framework, in place since the end of World War II, to better deal with today’s financial crises.
Miyazawa said the International Monetary Fund should create a new precautionary facility to quickly lend to countries in crisis. He also said it is necessary to set up regional currency-support mechanisms to complement IMF functions.
He went on to mention the possibility of disclosure and reporting requirements for hedge funds, which can jeopardize small economies by rapidly moving a vast amount of capital.
In his speech at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan in Tokyo, he spoke of his vision for “a new international financial architecture,” addressing the financial crises that have hit Asia, Russia and Latin America.
The finance chief’s ideas, though not entirely new or specific, could feed discussions among the Group of Seven industrialized countries. “Japan, as a country in the Asian region where the people have been experiencing the very serious impact of the crises, would like to play an active and constructive role in dealing with such system-wide issues,” he said.
He called for stronger monitoring of short-term capital movements in emerging market economies and of financial institutions in industrial countries that invest in or lend to hedge funds.
He expressed support for the idea of “managed flexibility” among the yen, the dollar and Europe’s soon-to-be-introduced euro, without specifying how that should be achieved.
In some cases, he said, the IMF has to play a role like a nation’s central bank, or the lender of last resort.
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