IMF presses US for more cash

Managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, has called on the world’s developed nations to “increase firepower” to better confront global financial strains such as those in play in Spain and other eurozone nations.

“We certainly need more resources,” Lagarde told the annual meeting of The Associated Press.

“Americans might ask themselves: why should what happens in the rest of the world concern us? Don’t we have our own problems?” she said.

“The answer is simple: in today’s world, we cannot afford the luxury of staying in our own mental backyards.”

Yields on Spanish debt rose overnight ahead of the first Spanish bond sale, scheduled for tonight, since the Spanish government announced its austerity budget on March 30.

Lagarde wants to raise an extra $US500 billion ($AU485 billion) to fight financial crises, including possible future eurozone bailouts.

“The ratio of fund quotas to world GDP is significantly lower today than in the past. Sixty years ago, it was as much as three, four times higher. We’ve a lot of ground to make up,” she said.

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