Financial sector should focus on reducing inequality, IMF says
The world’s financial sector should take rapid steps to address record or near-record inequality levels within countries that new research shows could be a harbinger of a new financial crisis, the head of the International Monetary Fund said Friday, Trend reports citing Reuters.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva issued what she termed a “call to action”, urging a shift to facilitate more lending to small and women-led businesses, which in turn would help bolster resilience in the event of a future crisis.
“Our new research shows that inequality tends to increase before a financial crisis, signaling a strong link between inequality and financial stability,” she said, citing parallels to 1920s boom years that led to the Great Depression.
A report by IMF staff released Friday shows that expanding financial services to more low-income households, women and small businesses could serve as a powerful lever in creating a more inclusive society, but the increasing complexity of the financial sector often wound up benefitting mainly the wealthy.
“If we act, and act together, we can avoid repeating the mistakes of the 1920s in the 2020s,” Georgieva told an event at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.