European leaders from the four biggest EU economies vowed after crisis talks on Saturday to do all they could to fend off the financial mayhem that has snowballed out of Wall Street and is now hitting banks in Europe, a pledge Strauss-Kahn welcomed.
"Europe must prepare to put in place a collective line of defence," he said in a speech in Paris, warning against countries acting alone.
"The stability of the world economy is at stake," he said, adding that the crisis would stem capital flows to developing countries, stunting economic growth there as well.
Once the crisis had subsided, world leaders would need to meet to reform the international financial system to prevent such a crisis recurring, he said.
"The main risk I see after the immediate crisis, once the fire has been extinguished, is that the main leaders, tired from putting out the fire, rest on their laurels and forget the task that will be in front of is, that of building a different system," Struass-Kahn said.
He also said international bodies like his own overlapped and were too complicated, and the international governance system would have to be simplified and made more efficient.