(WASHINGTON) -- French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde says she's hopeful that the proper mechanisms have been put in place to prevent another near-collapse of the worldwide financial system.
"We've been working really hard in the last two months to put in place what our leaders decided was needed: an alert control system, a supervisory system, discipline in the markets," the minister said in an exclusive interview with ABC News. "But it's a constant job because markets are very agile and they reinvent new schemes."
Lagarde spoke to ABC following a meeting with her U.S. counterpart, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
“In terms of growth versus austerity, it's the policy that we've adopted in pretty much all European countries [that] we need to address both issues. If we do not reduce the public deficit, it's not going to be conducive to growth,” she said.
“People worry about public deficit. If they worry about it, they begin to save. If they save too much, they don't consume. If they don't consume, unemployment goes up and production goes down. So we need to attack that circle from the deficits," Lagarde said.
Recently named to Forbes' list of 100 most powerful women, Lagarde is the only female finance minister in the Group of Seven industrialized countries.
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