Ok, well at least put it on hold for an hour or two.
Emerging markets magazine broke the news last night, quoting a “senior and well placed source in Pretoria”. Referencing an African Union call for a non-European, preferably African, candidate the source continues, “I think it wouldn’t be difficult to deduce from that statement who they are talking about, because there’s only one candidate that has been spoken about”.
Pravin Gordhan, South Africa’s current finance minister, chose his words carefully in a BBC interview yesterday. Asked whether South Africa would nominate Manuel he replied:
“That’s something that our government is still considering and consulting other developing countries on. I think it’s fairly clear that whilst there is some support for both Mr Carstens and Ms Lagarde, there are fairly interesting propositions being articulated elsewhere in the world.”
He goes on to offer a load of other indirect responses to variations on the same question…
Is Manuel the candidate that emerging markets will put their support behind? Since Brazil is likely to back Lagarde he won’t be the BRICS candidate that observers have been waiting for.
If he has indeed decided to enter the fray we will know for sure by tomorrow. If there are more than the three announced candidates the IMF board will meet to draw up a shortlist before announcing who’s in the running. We’ll be holding tight for an official statement form Manuel declaring his intentions.
What do you say?