NY Times

Published: February 26, 2010

WASHINGTON — The chief of the International Monetary Fund said Friday that the organization should reorient itself to better detect systemic risks to the global economy and quickly step in with emergency loans when financial crises emerge.

The I.M.F. leader, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, also floated the idea of creating a global reserve currency that could serve as an alternative to the dollar.

After a speech at the I.M.F. headquarters, Mr. Strauss-Kahn said in response to a question about the fiscal crisis in Greece that the fund would be “happy to help if asked” but that the European Union appeared able to resolve the crisis on its own.

“The Europeans, especially the members of the euro zone, want to try to deal with the problems themselves,” Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, said. “I perfectly respect this.”

The I.M.F. has collaborated with the European Union and the European Central Bank in recent days, sending experts to Athens, but the Europeans have taken the lead on demanding that the Greek government impose cuts in public spending and other austerity measures.

Full story here