Lets get a few things straight. First, the indecent haste that surrounds this process enormously helps the Europeans. Three weeks to drum up a candidate and cobble together a coalition can only work if you’re already meeting continually like, erm, the Europeans.
Second, Carstens only came forward because he thinks his Chicago school policies and political past will make him acceptable to the US. He certainly will do developing countries no favours at all. His only hope is that the Americans break away from the Europeans, and the BRICS can be persuaded to hold their noses, ignore their better judgement and side with him on the basis of his nationality. Some hope.
Third, the Europeans’ early move fatally undermined the legitimacy of the process. What self-respecting, ambitious person would put their name forward to challenge Lagarde when she looks such a shoe-in thanks to the lorryloads of votes her backers can stuff the ballots with?
So, I’m hoping I’ll be proved wrong, but it looks like the contest is heading for a no-contest, and the IMF is heading for another blow to its legitimacy.