Coordinated Economic Policy Needed: Morgan Stanley's Roach

Global economic recovery is hampered by a lack of coordination, Stephen Roach told CNBC Tuesday

"I think the idea that countries and regions can make policy independent of what else is going on in the world is pretty ludicrous, and yet we still seem to be presuming the best global policy is the arithmetic sum of some national policies. That's not working too well," said Morgan Stanley Asia's nonexecutive chairman.

With the recovery at risk for the second time in three years "we seem to be rolling from crisis to crisis," he said, noting that over the last three decades "we've had 11 major financial and economic crises" starting with the 1980s' Latin debt problems through the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis three years ago and now Europe.

"Somehow we have to figure out a better way to run this integrated, increasingly connected global economy of ours, and we just keep fumbling the ball, not just in the U.S., not just in Europe," Roach said. "The global architecture is missing here."

Growing the Global Economy

He thinks the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank should be taking more of a leadership role in that economic coordination.

"Are they followers or leaders?" Roach asked. "The IMF is basically silent. I worry Japan is the template for what is happening in the U.S. and Europe. What is the IMF going to do about it? The IMF has great analytical capabilities, but in terms of drafting an agenda we can all talk about seriously I would like to see leadership there and I don't.

Power, he added, "is a hard thing to give up for any nation, for a state or a group of countries. But power sharing in a global economy, in a regional economy, is really critical. Otherwise we'll just be working at cross purposes and we'll just keep rolling from crisis to crisis."