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"That day has not yet come, but I think it is intellectually healthy to explore these kinds of ideas now," he said in a speech on the future mandate of the 186-nation Washington-based lending organization.
Strauss-Kahn said such an asset could be similar to but distinctly different from the IMF's special drawing rights, or SDRs, the accounting unit that countries use to hold funds within the IMF. It is based on a basket of major currencies.
"Here it will be essential to improve our ability to monitor several dozen large complex financial institutions that make up the `plumbing' through which global capital flows," he said, while leaving national regulators the job of monitoring the solvency of individual institutions.