TOKYO – The following are highlights of International Monetary Fund seminars and speeches on Wednesday featuring global monetary policymakers.
TAKEHIKO NAKAO, VICE MINISTER OF FINANCE FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
"There is a lot of focus on the European case and the fiscal cliff in the United States but Japan is in a sense a frontrunner in the fiscal problem because we had slow growth for 20 years. The lesson from Europe is that if there is a reversal in the market the effect can be damaging for the economy and even fiscal sustainability."
IGNAZIO VISCO, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK GOVERNING COUNCIL MEMBER AND BANK OF ITALY GOVERNOR
"First, credibility. A risk we are seeing now of the collapse in the euro is only due to credibility of exercise. Without that, the euro area has much lower public debt than the United States and Japan."
JANET YELLEN, U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE VICE CHAIRWOMAN
"Low short-term interest rates are essential to stimulate recovery in the U.S. economy and bringing down unemployment. We do have weakness in the U.S. economy and expectations that this will continue for some time, which justifies the Fed's asset purchases and is a factor that keeps long-term interest rates low.
"Eventually, we do expect the U.S. economy to recover and that monetary policy will be normalized ... One concern I have is that interest rate risk may exist in bank balance sheets and that bank profits could be at risk if rates rise suddenly."
CHRISTIAN NOYER, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK POLICYMAKER AND BANK OF FRANCE GOVERNOR
"The project of a banking union is so important in the euro zone because if we want to break the link between sovereign (risk) and the banks, we need to transform the banking system into a euro-zone banking system.
"We of course need a unified banking system ... we need to have the capacity to step in without the involvement of individual member states."
DAVID LIPTON, FIRST DEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
"It's important that Europe as a whole ... that there be regional efforts to support the recapitalization of banks.
"Monetary policy and other efforts to support euro-zone growth are important so that necessary fiscal adjustments are made."
(Reporting by Leika Kihara and Stanley White; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Chris Gallagher)