What have the candidates got to hide?

If news reports are to be believed, IMF MD-elect Christine Lagarde will be interviewed by the IMF board next Thursday (23rd June), with IMF MD loser-elect, Augustine Carstens on Tuesday (21st). The IMF is refusing to provide any information about the interviews – which will be held in secret – and doesn’t even have their dates on its website. This despite IMF governors promising – many many times – a truly transparent process, and campaigners calling for open interviews.

Which got me thinking: what might the candidates – and the board – have to hide? Perhaps they are fearful that a clinical dissection of Lagarde’s disastrous approach towards Greece would be too much for us to hear?  Or maybe we’d find out that Carstens would be even more hardline? Or could it be that they want to really get to the bottom of the skeletons in the candidates’ closets?

Surely all the secrecy can’t be because the interviews are likely to be a polite, meaningless formality, to rubber stamp decisions that have already been made?  Perish the thought.

Lagarde passed finish line before starting gun fired

Based on public proclamations of support, the tally kept by the excellent global memo suggests that Lagarde already has 55 per cent of the votes – already enough to be the next IMF Managing Director. She had these before the IMF even bothered to confirm the list of candidates; and well before she’ll have to submit herself to the indignity of answering questions – in private – at the IMF executive board.

How is this possible?  Three reasons; most important first. Continue reading “Lagarde passed finish line before starting gun fired”

Poor old Spain… out in the cold with all the others

Spain’s run of luck – World cup winners, tennis champions, exonerated cucumbers – finally ran out this week.  Along with 164 other members of the IMF it doesn’t get a vote in the upcoming leadership election. Alas – Spain’s finance minister explained to the press – we wanted to vote for Lagarde, but the pesky IMF rules mean we have to give our votes to our IMF board member, Mexico, who – the cads! – want to vote for their favoured son, Carstens.

As you might expect if you’ve been following this process, it gets more absurd.  Continue reading “Poor old Spain… out in the cold with all the others”

IMF leader imposition – the people fight back

Fed up of the colonial era ambience of the IMF leadership race? Sick of European leaders deciding they have the right to tell the rest of the world to shut up and accept their favoured daughter?  Well, you’re not alone.  In fact, the first internet surveys suggest you’re in the overwhelming majority.

First off the mark was the Guardian newspaper. In a simple yes / no questions, a whopping 75 per cent said the IMF voting process is “unfair and totally outdated”. Next up came a much more detailed array of questions from the Center for Global development – the poll is still open if you want to have your say. Here are a selection of the top findings:

83 per cent don’t think the Europeans “should maintain their maintain its customary prerogative of seeking IMF Board approval for a single European candidate”.

88 per cent believe “the traditional European prerogative to name the head of the IMF … should be replaced by a selection process that is open, competitive and merit-based, without regard to nationality.”

Continue reading “IMF leader imposition – the people fight back”