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IMF breakthrough seen bolstering US on world stage

Surprise accord ends 5-year stalemate over overhaul of its governance structure

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"The IMF is really the first line of defence... in global economic and financial crises. And for 70 years the United States has played the driving leadership role in the organisation," says Mr Lew.

Washington

A STRING of agreements between the White House and Congress, capped by last month's surprise accord that ended a five-year impasse over the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has eased, though not dispelled, concerns that the US is retreating from global economic leadership.

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