Christine Lagarde

Hero or Villain? Robert Peston

Fiscal policy, eh? Phwoar! Triple-A ratings: they get the blood pumping, don't they? And don't even get us started on eurozone rescue-fund implementation...

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IMF backs Osborne's strategy – but warns tax cuts may be needed

The International Monetary Fund yesterday delivered a powerful endorsement of the Chancellor's strategy to reduce government borrowing – but warned that ministers may need to cut taxes and the Bank of England will have to inject more money into he economy if "major risks materialise". This is the nearest that any international body has come to suggesting a "Plan B" may be needed. The level of unemployment in Britain is, the IMF added, "unacceptable", and it also pointed to inflation and the fragility of the banks as "significant risks".

French minister set to fight off emerging nation bid for IMF job

European nations appeared to be closing ranks behind the French Finance Minister, Christine Lagarde, to run the International Monetary Fund, trying to nip in the bud a campaign to appoint an emerging-market candidate for the first time in the organisation's 65-year history.