The following are highlights of comments by finance ministers and central bankers in Washington this week for meetings of the Group of 20 and the semiannual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
BRAZIL'S FINANCE MINISTER GUIDO MANTEGA:
We have seen a worsening of the global economic crisis in the past few months. Actually, developed countries have never overcome this crisis.
We run the risk that this crisis will become more serious. There is a risk that the sovereign debt crisis of European countries turns into a global financial crisis.
We believe that Europe has conditions to face the crisis, if they approve their (bailout) fund with new characteristics. The problem is the timing for its approval. Europe is running against time.
I hope Europe does not wait for the first countries to break before putting new instruments in place because then the bill will be higher.
Let's not fool ourselves, that is a crisis that will spread throughout the world.
CANADIAN FINANCE MINISTER JIM FLAHERTY:
ON WHETHER EUROPE'S RESPONSE WAS ADEQUATE NOW:
We're not quite there yet. Some progress last night. You probably saw from the communique there's some language with respect to flexibility. We've been pressing the need to have adequate capacity in the European facility in order to deal with bank recapitalization in Europe...Our view is it needs to be larger to have the clear capacity to overwhelm the problem.
ON WHETHER A GREEK DEFAULT WAS NOW INEVITABLE:
Greece is in a very difficult position in terms of paying its debt. I think that's plain to everyone. The key I think is the knock-on effect on banks and making sure that that contagion is controlled, and it's very important that the facility that's being put into place has the capacity to deal with the issue...What I see is a grave challenge for Greece to meet its obligations.
Certainly in Europe we need an exercise of political will. We need decisiveness. We need clarity, and I made all those points last evening.
On the fiscal consolidation issue...we intend in Canada to stay on our track (of deficit reduction).
GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE:
There is a broad consensus among the G20 that high deficits are one main reason for the crisis.
Therefore there was a also a broad consensus that we have to continue on our way to reduce deficits
We (the Europeans) have already said that the legislative steps to implement the decisions from the euro summit (for strengthening the EFSF) will be finished mid-October, the latest. I think this is good news.
At the moment, the troika is working on a technical level on a new report, which will be precondition for the next payment out of the help package for Greece.
I do not know if in the light of the troika report something has to be changed on the plans being made for Greece (the second help package).
It does not make sense to speculate right know about additional steps.
The Europeans know their responsibility and will act according to this.
EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK GOVERNING COUNCIL MEMBER EWALD NOWOTNY
ON POSSIBLE REINTRODUCTION OF ONE-YEAR LIQUIDITY TENDERS:
During the time of the financial crisis, one of the instruments we had was, in the context of full allotment of policy, to have one-year tenders. I think it might be advisable to think about reintroducing this approach.
Asked if the ECB should consider longer-term maturities of up to two years, he said: I think we do have a kind of established toolkit and I do not see a need to expand about this, but as this is something we have had already, I think we could discuss a reintroduction.
Asked how quickly the tenders could be relaunched, he said, This is something that we have to discuss in the ECB.