IMF: World Headed for 'Global Recession'

"We are hopeful that what we'll start to see is some measures put in place that will send some signals that global policymakers are going to work in tandem," Ryan said Monday.

Gerald P. O'Driscoll Jr., a former vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and Citigroup, also questioned the need by some countries to make a cut.

"What are the Japanese going to do? I guess they can go back to zero, which they are very reluctant to do," O'Driscoll said. "The Europeans have the most scope for cutting."

While the U.S. Federal Reserve had its main rate at 2 percent, O'Driscoll said in recent days the Fed has put so much cash into the banking system that it has essentially already pushed rates lower in the marketplace.

"It would just be acknowledging what they have already done," he said. "Then, what happens if it doesn't work?"

"Then he's stuck," O'Driscoll added. "Then everybody knows the next thing he has to do is pull a Japan and go to zero."

A rate cut is probably not going to calm the markets, he believes. The problem is that many firms are deemed risky because they borrowed too much money to finance their investments. The only cure for that is to de-leverage those investments.

"It's ugly, but it's not susceptible directly to central bank action," O'Driscoll said. "Would it do a great deal of harm? Probably not. Would it do a great deal of good? Probably not, unless it turned out to be the magic bullet that restored confidence, and so far, nothing that either central banks or governments have been doing is restoring confidence.

"Maybe because part of it, that they just keep switching plans and coming up with new plans. After you do that several times, and I'm especially thinking of [Treasury Secretary Henry] Paulson, less maybe the Fed, people begin to say, 'Does this person know what they are doing? Or do they have a plan?'"

With reports by ABC News' Alice Gomstyn, Daniel Arnall and The Associated Press.

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