Dec 162015
China to get more power under reform deal   By IanTalley      Getty Images   Long-awaited IMF reform was approved in Congress. WASHINGTON–U. S. lawmakers look set to ratify a five-year-old international deal to overhaul the governance of the International Monetary Fund that gives emerging markets such as China greater power at the emergency lender. Lawmaker approval would resolve a long-running grievance by emerging powers that their voice and vote at the shareholder institution doesn’t represent their growing economic heft in the world. Congressional leaders agreed early Wednesday morning to include the changes in a catch-all spending bill, which could become law in the coming days. “We look forward to the outcome of the legislative process,” said IMF spokesman Gerry Rice. U.S. lawmakers have stymied modernization of the fund’s shareholder governance for years, fomenting resentment among the IMF’s emerging-market membership. An expanded version of this story is available at Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)
Mar 202015
 WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Wednesday said failure by Congress to authorize reforms at the International Monetary Fund it was “dangerous” and would limit U.S. leverage on issues such as the China-led infrastructure bank. But a senior Republican lawmaker expressed doubt Congress would take up the reforms this year, increasing the likelihood the IMF would seek to move ahead without the United States. The fund’s member countries agreed in 2010 to reform the institution to give more say to emerging countries, but the Obama administration has so far been unable to persuade Congress to pass necessary funding changes. U.S. foot-dragging is prompting other countries to question Washington’s commitment to international institutions and putting it on the defensive, Lew said at a hearing before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee. “I think that’s a very dangerous thing strategically; I think that’s a mistake,” Lew said, adding that passing the IMF reforms would give the United States more leverage in pushing its perspective on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Germany, France and Italy followed Britain in saying they would join the China-led initiative, despite Washington’s objections to the bank’s environmental and human rights standards. Kay Granger, chairwoman of the House State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, where Lew testified, said she did not believe Congress would pass the IMF reforms when the Congressional Budget Office estimated they would cost $300 million. “In the past, there has not been sufficient congressional support for the IMF proposal, and frankly, I do not expect much to change this year,” she said. In comments to Reuters, Granger also said the Obama administration has been slow in responding to her concerns. The administration has been pushing Congress for two years to approve a shift of some $63 billion from an IMF crisis fund to its general accounts, which is necessary to make good on Washington’s international promise. Granger said the proposal may now be considered as part of the budget discussions for the next fiscal year, which begins in October. The White House says the changes would cost very little, but some lawmakers do not agree and also fret about the risks attached to IMF loans. U.S. delays on the reforms have prompted the IMF’s board to consider other options, including a proposal under which Washington would lose its veto power at the global lender. (Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)–business.html   Share (more…)
Jan 082015
1/7/2015 By Emily Stephenson and Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives failed on Wednesday to round up enough votes for a bill scaling back various financial reforms, a surprising defeat in an area conservatives hoped to prioritize this year. Republican Party leaders brought forward numerous bills to revamp financial reforms under President Barack Obama’s Democratic administration and hoped to make more dramatic changes after taking control of both houses of the U.S. Congress in last November’s congressional elections. Before the vote on Wednesday, Democrats slammed the bill as a Republican effort to chip away at the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law, including one provision that would have given banks extra time to comply with part of the Volcker rule. Supporters fell six votes short of what was needed to send the legislation to the U.S. Senate. The proposal was among the first votes House lawmakers took after returning to Washington this week. “We’re tired of really bad Wall Street giveaways being tacked onto other legislation,” Representative Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat from Illinois, said on the House floor before the vote.–sector.html Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)