Brief of the Week October 20

DSK, IMF, AND ‘MASSIVE’ INTERVENTION: As the world was still reeling from the financial crisis last week, it was no surprise that the International Monetary Fund /World Bank meeting in Washington attracted the largest number of reporters in memory. “We had close to 1,000 journalists covering the meetings,” said an IMF spokeswoman, adding that Washington meetings in recent years have been covered by an average of 300-500 journalists and that the number reached about 800 at the height of major demonstrations against the financial institutions a decade ago. IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn took the opportunity to make a strong pitch for “massive” intervention by nations affected by the financial crisis and for greater surveillance of world financial systems by the IMF. “Surveillance by the IMF already exists today, but it doesn’t stretch widely enough to all financial questions,” insisted Socialist Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister. The man widely known as “DSK” went on to say that intervention in economies “has to be on a country-by-country basis, according to local specificities in law, the history of the country and the structure of the banking industry. Any intervention must be massive.”