Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde presented the 2019 Global Policy Agenda in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, an annual report from the organization outlining recommended policies for the global economic development.
This year’s agenda, which addresses the World Economic Outlook (WEO) made public on Tuesday, is longer and more robust than previous reports issued during the ongoing IMF – World Bank meetings, Lagarde said. It is reflective of the uncertainty regarding a precarious financial recovery in 2020.
The agenda provided recommendation and guideline for global cooperation so that downside risks identified in the WEO, including unaccomodative monetary policy, unresolved trade tensions, high debt, weaker than expected growth in developing countries, and situations like Venezuela and Brexit, can be met with monetary response aimed at recovery and global financial growth.
— IMF (@IMFNews) April 11, 2019
Lagarde outlined both her recommendations for the global economy and the role the IMF will play in supporting monetary policy that fits within their goal of ensuring a growth rate recovery next year.
She noted that monetary policy that addresses the current economic situation cannot be a singular one, but should rather include various country-specific strategies.
The IMF’s rule for monetary policy, according to Lagarde, is “Do no harm. Do the right thing.” Much of that sentiment is based around the idea that monetary policy will not harm sects of people or the planet in its creation of financial stimulus and stability.
The agenda provided a guideline for the world to adopt a new multilateralism via macroeconomic policy, structure reform and an emphasis on market competition, innovation, and labor mobility.
It also included an initiative to improve global cooperation through an upgrade of international frameworks in order to create a more level playing field across borders. Lagarde posited that this must be accomplished by tackling trade tensions through reform in the World Trade Organization that modernizes a rules-based multilataleral trade system.
This is in addition to global financial regulations, debt transparency, limiting illicit financial flows, and a complete global reform on the current position of corporate taxation. At the center of this strengthening, Lagarde stated, is acknowledging the responsibility of an adequate global financial safety net and an IMF that supports countries in need.
The most important goal of the agenda, however, was the necessity for stronger joint action against issues that threaten not just financial, but all institutions.
Climate change, demographic shifts, cyber attacks, and tensions caused by conflict and migration require collaboration, and according to Lagarde, ought to include a simultaneous coordinated effort toward the United Nations-established sustainable development goals.
— IMFLive (@IMFLive) April 11, 2019
In a conversation with David Attenborough, an English broadcaster and natural historian, Lagarde addressed the idea of achieving a balance between nature and global economy, which will go hand in hand in the pursual of the 2019 agenda.
Attenborough expressed confidence that there is hope for a future with a stable global economy and a progression toward maintaining the global temperature.
The hope is in the youthful generations, Attenborough said, since it is in the youth who understand the issues and have the ability to coordinate and act while the window to address climate change is still open.