TOKYO Oct 12 The following are comments on
Friday from finance officials in Tokyo for the semiannual
meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
BANK OF JAPAN GOVERNOR MASAAKI SHIRAKAWA:
"The global economy has not yet returned to robust growth
... It is inevitable that economic growth would stagnate as debt
is reduced, because economic agents will reduce spending while
they reduce debt."
"Inopportune and inappropriate policies driven by discontent
by (the) general public ... destabilise the global economy."
"No responsible policymaker could dismiss the cross-border,
spillover effect of their policies. Central bankers are buying
time (with their ultra-easy policies) ... and the time must be
used wisely. Monetary policy cannot replace structural reforms
(that must be) undertaken by government."
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA GOVERNOR GLENN STEVENS:
"There is a long way to go in Europe, but to give some
credit where it is due, I think we've had a number of event
risks in the past months that were successfully managed by our
"Europe will be an event risk for some time, because there
are so many steps that still put in place."
"Australia is going into a global slowdown in reasonable
shape. The question is how much scope do you have in domestic
policies to ameliorate the slowdown. In Australia I think the
answer is we have plenty of that scope."
ITALIAN ECONOMY MINISTER VITTORIO GRILLI ON BUDGET CUTTING:
"Fiscal consolidation has had a negative impact on our
"However, we knew that what we are doing has a price in the
short term. But our conviction and determination is that the
price we are paying in the short term is a necessary price to
have for a much brighter future in the medium and long term"
GRILLI ON ECB'S BOND-BUYING PROGRAMME:
"The ECB's outright monetary transactions have provided a
credible backstop in government markets that has removed fears
of a breakup of the euro and will help stabilise market.
"The euro is not an experiment. It is the future of Europe
and it is something to not be reversed.
BANK OF JAPAN POLICY BOARD MEMBER RYUZO MIYAO:
"Given that growth potential in Asia is high and its middle
class is expected to grow further from now on, Asia must avoid
the overheating of its economies such as excess investment or
the creation of bubbles.
"This lesson should be relevant even when Asia faces
downside risk associated with the euro-zone crisis because if
short-term policy stimulus ... turns out to be excessive, it may
increase the potential risk of these imbalances."
POLISH CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR MAREK BELKA:
"What would make euro attractive for Poland? It's not a 100
percent serious answer, but if we see there are no more bets on
the euro collapse, and when we see that Spanish economy restarts
growing, this is the first thing for us to start considering
timelines and procedures. Because then we can have faith that we
would be entering something which will not disappear."
PORTUGUESE FINANCE MINISTER VITOR GASPAR ON EUROPE'S CRISIS:
"In Europe, the decision-making process is slow and
cumbersome. But it's always delivered in the end. In more than
five decades of European integration, it's always been able to
come to the level required by any crisis that has appeared in
the process of European integration. And as you know, there have
been quite a few."
SPANISH ECONOMY MINISTER LUIS DE GUINDOS ON POTENTIAL AID:
Asked if Spain wanted more political clarity rather than
technical details before taking a decision on an aid request, de
Guindos said: "absolutely not."
"There was no pressure, in one sense or in the other."
IMF CHIEF CHRISTINE LAGARDE ON GIVING GREECE MORE TIME:
"Given the ... lack of growth, given the market pressure,
given the efforts that have been undertaken, a bit more time is
LAGARDE ON THE PACE OF FISCAL ADJUSTMENT:
"We have consistently, I have consistently ... said the same
thing: adjustment is needed, but it's not going to be at the
same pace for all; it's going to be country-specific and it's
going to be also part of the rest of the package of policies
that are put in place. But there's no doubt in our mind that the
burden of debt that is currently weighing on the shoulders of
advanced economies is not sustainable in the long-term."
GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE ON GIVING GREECE
"We have to wait to see what the final outcome of the report
of the troika will be. Until we have the troika report, we must
SCHAEUBLE ON FISCAL POLICY:
"I think it's even more important for sustainable growth
that investors and consumers have some confidence ... We have to
stick to what we announce, and we have to implement it step by
step... If you want to go in some direction, you must not start
to move in the opposite direction."
"We need a sustainable fiscal policy as one precondition of
sustainable growth... and that is the best way to get more
SCHAEUBLE ON LIFTING ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY:
"I am optimistic that in one year we will have overcome the
most part of the uncertainty related to Europe."
WORLD BANK PRESIDENT JIM YONG KIM ON REDUCING POVERTY:
"It is time to move from dreaming of a world free of poverty
to achieving it. It is time to bend the arc of history. With
global solidarity underpinned by a relentless drive for results,
we can, we must, and we will end poverty and build shared
BUNDESBANK PRESIDENT AND ECB COUNCIL MEMBER JEANS WEIDMANN:
"The world economy is in a difficult state, but there is no
reason for painting a black picture."
"What is of some concern to me is that the hopes and
expectations of the governments are increasingly focused on the
central banks as main actors in fighting the economic and fiscal
"I want to underline that monetary policy is not an
instrument that can solve everything, it is not a miracle
weapon. It cannot solve problems it can only provide short-term
financing while stretching its mandate and in the process ends
up in the tow of fiscal policy."
BRAZILIAN FINANCE MINISTER GUIDO MANTEGA ON FISCAL
"We have been arguing for some time that single-minded and
draconian fiscal policies may be counterproductive and have a
tendency to backfire."
MANTEGA ON QUANTITATIVE EASING:
"Some major central banks are again resorting to
quantitative easing. Recent experience suggests there are
reasons to doubt the effectiveness of lax monetary policies in
current circumstances. Real interest rates have been negative or
close to zero for quite a long time without prompting a clear
recovery in private consumption or investment."
MANTEGA ON RESERVE POOLING BY BRICS NATIONS:
"There seems to be a consensus between the five countries
that a self-managed reserve pooling scheme could have a
positive precautionary effect, help forestall short-term
liquidity pressures and provide mutual support. It would also
contribute to strengthen the global financial safety net and
complement existing international arrangements."
SOUTH AFRICAN FINANCE MINISTER PRAVIN GORDAN ON GLOBAL
"Policymakers in advanced countries need to speed up
implementation of agreed policies and reforms."
"The recently announced quantitative easing by the U.S.
Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank's Outright
Monetary Transactions may have positive short-term impact,
however, they are not sufficient to prevent the global economy
from heading into a recession."