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US taper should be 'wake-up call' for emerging world: OECD

22 february 2014, 10:34
The OECD Friday said the winding down of US monetary stimulus should be a "wake-up call" for emerging economies to accelerate reforms, but Indonesia and South Africa stepped up criticism of the Federal Reserve heading into G20 talks, AFP reports.

Countries including Indonesia, South Africa, Argentina, Turkey and India have suffered sharp capital outflows and losses to their currencies as a by-product of the Fed's "taper" -- the easing back of its mammoth stimulus programme.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which largely comprises richer countries, said the move was inevitable as the US economy perks up -- and emerging economies should have begun preparing months ago.

"This is not about the tapering issue, the tapering was predictable, it was inevitable and desirable, because it signals normality," OECD chief Angel Gurria said in Sydney.

"The question really is, is tapering what is causing the turbulence?

"Who are the ones that are suffering the most? The ones that had high current account deficits, the guys who still had reforms on their homework.

"What are we saying? That it is a signal, it's a wake-up call, it's a sputnik moment if you will -- accelerate reforms."

Indonesian Finance Minister Muhamad Chatib Basri admitted the Fed's "quantitative easing" had to eventually end. But he said this weekend's G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bankers in Sydney must produce certainty about where the US policy is heading.

"I do understand the normal world is the world without QE, so emerging markets should be ready for a world without QE," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"But I think when we move from one equilibrium into another equilibrium, it is very important to continue to communicate to discuss about the roadmap so that we in the emerging markets can prepare.

"I think it is not just Indonesia," he added.

"Other emerging markets including India, including South Africa, including Brazil also raised this same issue of the need for coordination."

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