International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in Washington the global community must "act together" to thwart economic perils.
"We need to act now, and we need to act together," she said, addressing finance leaders gathered for a weekend meeting at the IMF and World Bank, both of which have their headquarters in the U.S. capital.
Lagarde, the former French finance minister, who took over the IMF from French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn two months ago, quoted a third French citizen, the 19th century writer Victor Hugo, in her opening remarks.
"As Victor Hugo once said: 'Great perils have this beauty, that they bring to light the fraternity of strangers,'" Lagarde said.
She said the pace of growth in the global economy was faltering, projected by the IMF to "slow to 4 percent this year and next."
"But the advanced economies will only manage an anemic 1.5 percent to 2 percent growth," she said. "Policy options have narrowed, but that does not mean there are no options."
She called for accommodative monetary policy, which refers to policies that keep liquidity in financial markets and strengthening banks, "so that they can lend to fuel growth and adequately face uncertain times with confidence."
In addition, she called for "stronger consistent and implementable financial regulation … to make financial crisis less likely and to make taxpayer bailouts of reckless operators less likely still."