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Game of Thrones battle engulfing world, warns Widodo at IMF meet

Enda Curran and Karlis Salna | Bloomberg/ 12 Oct 18 | 10:35 AM

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo. Photo: Reuters

Mounting trade tensions and stresses in emerging markets are starting to take a toll on the world economy. The International Monetary Fund this week said world growth is plateauing and cut its outlook for first time since 2016. Those issues are dominating talks at the annual IMF and World Bank meetings in Bali, Indonesia this week, as well as a stock-market rout that’s spread from the US to Asia.

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Here are the latest developments from the meetings, updated throughout the day.

Winter is coming for the world economy. That’s the warning from Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who channeled the popular TV series "Game of Thrones" in his keynote speech at the IMF and World Bank meetings in Bali. In stark language, he said alliances between major powers are breaking down and the world is rapidly descending into a battle for supremacy akin to those seen on the show. He also warned that emerging markets are under pressure and policy makers should allow for monetary patience and fiscal tolerance to offset rising trade protectionism, technological disruption and market turmoil.

“Are we so busy fighting with each other and competing against each other that we fail to notice the things which are increasingly threatening all of us alike, rich and poor, large and small," Widodo said. “When victory and defeat have been achieved will we wake up to a world that is shattered. It will be an empty prize, to become the most successful economy in a drowning world."

It’s not the first time that Widodo has drawn an analogy with a TV series or movie. In a speech last month he described conflicts over world resources as an “infinity war" that he would fight like the superheros in the "Avengers."

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