Yellen: IMF Needs Overhaul to Fight New Global Crises

The IMF needs more tools to fight modern, potentially more frequent global crises, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen argued in a speech to the Atlantic Council.

“Health, climate and development challenges are creating worse economic shocks and leading to crises that are harder to solve," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “In the face of crisis, countries with more resources can act forcefully while poor countries get left behind."

Yellen’s speech comes days before she joins world leaders for G20 and World Bank/IMF meetings focused on developing countries struggling with debt, vaccine access and climate change. The Ukraine war brings a new shock to the global economy that leaders will discuss. Recently, IMF staff warned that 60% of poor countries are facing debt crisis or economic instability.

“The Ukraine war adds to the dramatic debt challenges in countries that already struggled with the pandemic,” added LeCompte. “It's clear that we need stronger and more efficient tools to solve economic crises.”

Yellen addressed international tax, trade, climate finance, health and pandemic preparedness reforms to modernize global financial institutions so they are fit to face global 21st century challenges.

Read Yellen's full speech here.

Read Eric LeCompte commentary in Barron's on Ukraine's debt and the lack of global financial crisis tools here.