Emerging markets play their cards close to their chest whilst Lagarde courts Latin America

Alan Beattie who last week took to twitter with “Dear Emerging Markets: Please stop wittering about open merit-based system for choosing new IMF MD and *nominate someone*. Love, The Media.” Continued to poke at what he sees as the emerging nations apparent lack of conviction and unity, evident in their inability to pick a candidate.

Patience Alan, they’re working on it.

The South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, speaking on behalf of emerging nations reminded reporters that they had until June 10 to name a candidates and that “there’s lots of consultations going on. It’s work in progress.”

This may be the case but with Lagarde’s promotional tour in full swing their chosen candidate may find themselves playing catch up. She started the week in Brazil where she met with the Finance Minister Guido Mantega who early on was oft misreported as being happy with a European head. Brazil’s current stance is more reasoned, stating that they will examine all candidates before lending support although some suggest otherwise.  The Brazilians want reform and greater representation for emerging markets.  In Brasilia, Lagarde was certainly talking the talk, declaring “if I was elected, I’d make sure that the diversity of members is represented at all levels.”

Luis Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank feels that Latin America, more than able to put forward a worthy candidate, deserves the post. Furthermore, he has “no doubt that Agustin Carstens meets all the credentials”.  Carstens, perhaps angry at the G8 support of Lagarde said “the Europeans are wrong to think only a European can help them out of their crisis.” Gordhan too shook his head at the G8, saying “We are learning a lot of lessons about how those who have enjoyed privilege and power hope to continue to enjoy them in a world that is changing so fast that 50 percent of economic growth now comes from developing countries.”

But the question remains, will the BRICs back him?

It is looking more likely that Stanley Fischer, Bank of Israel Governor, will put himself forward as a candidate. Although Zambian born, Fischer is an Israeli citizen and unlikely to get the support of Arab states. It is unclear what line the BRICs will take on his candidacy. However Fischer, being 67 years old and change, is by current rules too old to be considered for the post. Perhaps the Fund will bend if they want him and stay rigid in their rules if not?

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