Twitter farce exposes Christine Lagarde as unsuitable

Imagine you are sitting in an interview room for a very important job. You have your best pressed suit on, possibly from Chanel. You are trying to demonstrate that you really would be the best candidate for the job. Your interviewers start asking you tough questions about economics, a subject you have never studied in-depth and don’t know much about. Then, one of the interviewers throws you a soft question. Very open-ended, so you can say whatever you like and not sound stupid. What do you do?

Well if you are Christine Lagarde you laugh and refuse to answer. Her Twitter session on Thursday was about the least interesting way possible to find out what Lagarde thinks. And when a questioner asked “What do you see for the future of the IMF?”, Lagarde simply answered “;)!!!!” That is a less than illuminating answer. The IMF boss job will affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world through the policies the IMF demands of its borrowers and the advice it gives to its members. And the leading candidate thinks it is a joke. Continue reading “Twitter farce exposes Christine Lagarde as unsuitable”

Question time for candidates! Public debate needed for IMF leadership post

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PDF version of this briefing

The official candidates for the position of managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have now emerged, but their positions on important topics facing the Fund are not yet clear. Civil society groups set out four pre-requisites for a new head of the IMF in April, including experience running intergovernmental institutions, independence, personal characteristics, and understanding of key issues.

A test of the first three areas is possible from looking at the candidates’ background, but for the last of these, their views are not clear. The IMF still needs fundamental reform if it is to be relevant to the global economy of the 21st century and to operate in the interests of ordinary people all over the world. We believe there are 4 key areas where these candidates must answer questions and that these questions should be answered in a public debate among the candidates.

1.      Reforming the IMF

Despite two major pushes for reform in the last five years, IMF governance remains undemocratic and unaccountable with Europe still be substantially over-represented.

a.      Will you strongly support the introduction of double majority decision making for all decisions at the IMF, to strengthen consensus decision making and give greater voice to small and low-income countries?

In 2009 the IMF agreed to adopt an “open, merit-based and transparent process for the selection of IMF management”, yet the current process has been criticised and neither of the two recent appointments to deputy managing director positions were done through an open, transparent and merit-based process.

 b.      How exactly would you reform the appointment processes for all IMF management, particularly how would you recruit deputy managing directors so that the 2009 commitments are kept?

Continue reading “Question time for candidates! Public debate needed for IMF leadership post”