Country positions: Which candidate will your government vote for?

With nominations in and lobbying winding down we want to know who you’d (dis)like to see as the head of the IMF [see sidebar].

But who will our governments be supporting?

Our friend Tony Fleming over at Global Memo has been keeping a tally of country position statements. Pick a country and see what they say. What’s more, if you’ve info that he hasn’t, why not help him fill in the blanks?

As well as documenting their position he notes each member state’s voting percentage to give us an idea of how much sway they have. But remember, it’s not the country’s individual voting share that counts per se but rather that of their country representative on the board.

Whilst the US, UK, France, Japan and Germany have their own seats, the remaining 182 members are represented by 19 country directors.

So while Fischer will get the backing of Israel, and Marchenko had the support of the Ukraine and other CIS states, their votes are cast by the Netherlands who early on in the process said “Europe should retain its traditional right to name the IMF chief”.

Sound fair?

With Lagarde gaining the vocal support of more countries by the day, the maths it seems, is also on her side…

Who in the world is Grigori Marchenko?*

You’re asking me? Well ok, i’ll give it a go…

There’s nothing too exciting stored on that paragon of knowledge and wisdom, Wikipedia. Lets see: He’s has been the chairman of the National Bank of Kazakhstan since January 2009. He started his career at umm – the National Bank – in between he spent time with Deutsche Bank and the National Commission on Securities. Oh, don’t forget his political experience as Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan in 2004.

That’s his CV, but what lies between the lines? Continue reading “Who in the world is Grigori Marchenko?*”

What is Russia thinking?

Russia’s backing of  Grigory Marchenko, governor of the Kazakh central bank has added spice – and a side order of mischief – to the IMF leadership race. Marchenko disarmingly gave the game away by saying “this is all so unexpected” and admitting success was only “theoretically possible”.  So that makes two no-hope candidates in a row – or am I underestimating theRussian bear?

Russia’s real prize is a united front with emerging markets around a single candidate – probably the only way another ludicrous European stitch-up can be prevented. Presumably it hopes to gain first mover advantage with  other BRIC countries slow to muster their own champion, and dealt a blow by the withdrawal of initial bookies’ favourite Kemal Dervis.

Offical nominations open on Monday. I’m strapping myself in for more twists and turns, not least the ongoing full scale judicial inquiry into European frontrunner Christine Lagarde.

IMF critics must be licking their lips – sex scandals, backroom carve ups between yesterday’s powers, corruption allegations, a hastily announced process with little time for scrutiny, the exclusion of most of the best candidates because they hold the wrong passports – what better way to discredit the institution?