By Yali N’Diaye
WASHINGTON (MNI) – European Central Bank Governing Council Member
Christian Noyer and France Finance Minister Christine Lagarde spoke out
Friday against the notion of a foreign exchange ‘war,’ preferring
instead to focus on the need for cooperation at a time the world is in
need of confidence.
“We must stop talking about war,” Lagarde said at a news conference
following the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and
“The world currently needs confidence, cooperation,” added Noyer.
“It’s by bringing back confidence and ensuring coordination between our
economic policies, a determined action to go in the direction of a
better balanced world growth, a better distribution of consumption and
investment worldwide that we will achieve a higher growth and employment
“So I agree 100% with Mrs Lagarde,” he said. “No war and
cooperation and building a better world together.”
The question of rebalancing should be considered in its entirety
and not reduced to the foreign exchange issue, both told reporters, who
repeatedly tried to get the two officials to be more specific on the
rebalancing of currencies.
Declining to directly comment on the issue of the Chinese yuan or
remarks made by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who Friday
again deplored interventions in FX markets by countries with undervalued
currencies, Lagarde stressed the rebalancing issue is a long term one
that won’t be solved “overnight.”
There are clearly imbalances, she said, and they need to be
addressed through the appropriate level of dialogue and consultation.
She underlined that all the G-20 countries share the desire for
better stability, less volatility and strong balanced growth.
The foreign exchange issue is a question of “common interest,”
Noyer added, stating that “excess volatility and abrupt development are
counter productive for the world’s growth.”
Asked whether there was a need for rebalancing within the euro
zone, Noyer said, “As a whole the euro area is approximatively balanced
in terms of current accounts.”
That doesn’t mean governments “should do nothing,” he added,
urging them to take the necessary steps to “enhance growth,” such as
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