On 5 April, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, gave a speech on “Decisive Action to Secure Durable Growth” at the House of Finance. Lagarde talked about the priorities to be discussed by policymakers at the upcoming 2016 IMF Spring Meetings in Washington, on April 13-18. It was the first “curtain raiser speech” of this kind held in Germany. The lecture was jointly organized by the SAFE Policy Center, the Center for Financial Studies (CFS) and Deutsche Bundesbank.
Birgitta Wolff, President of Goethe University, and Jens Weidmann, President of the Deutsche Bundesbank, welcomed the speaker and the audience in Frankfurt. After her talk, the IMF Managing Director was available for questions from the audience, moderated by CFS President Otmar Issing.
In her speech, Lagarde stressed that we still face global challenges even if much progress has been made since the great financial crisis. The global economy has weakened further and many downside risks have remained or even increased. Besides, economic risks have been exacerbated by social and political risks such as terrorism, epidemics and the refugee crisis. Lagarde pointed out that a three-pronged approach on the country level is needed to overcome the current problems. Structural reforms, fiscal and monetary policy measures have to be implemented jointly, she said. At the same time, international cooperation is needed to deal with global challenges such as climate change or corruption.