IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn urged G20 leaders meeting in London on Thursday to act more decisively to clean up bad debts poisoning the global financial system, in a newspaper interview.
While debate about the measures required to tackle the global economic crisis have focused on tighter financial regulation or new stimulus packages, Strauss-Kahn told the Financial Times that so-called "toxic assets" were key.
The International Monetary Fund's experience from 122 banking crises suggested that "you never recover before the cleaning up of the banking sector has been done", he said.
"The US... is rightly insisting on stimulus and the EU rightly insisting on regulation. They are not yet moving quickly enough in doing the cleaning up of the financial system," Strauss-Kahn said.