Press release: Reaction to the appointment of Christine Lagarde as head of the IMF

In response to the news that the IMF has selected Christine Lagarde to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn as Managing Director of the IMF, Jesse Griffiths, Coordinator of the Bretton Woods Project has said:

“The Europeans have shamefully held onto control of the Fund in a well orchestrated stitch-up. Unfortunately, the outcome was clear long before the selection process officially started, once the Europeans decided to use their unfair over-representation at the Fund to force through their candidate.”

“There was a shocking lack of transparency to the whole process with no public interviews held and Board decisions once again made behind closed doors.”

Nick Dearden, Director of the Jubilee Debt Campaign adds:

“The nature of Lagarde;s selection shows once again how out of touch the IMF is. This further tarnishes the IMF’s legitimacy in a rapidly changing world.”

“This decision is bad news for European countries in crisis: the key architect of disastrous austerity policies in Greece is now at the helm of the Fund and she has already made clear to Greek legislators that they should listen to Northern Europe’s interests, rather than the interests of their own people. The IMF has learnt nothing from the debt crises of the past.”

For information: Jesse Griffiths + 44 (0) 7968 041 747 / jgriffiths@brettonwoodsproject.org

More nods in Lagarde’s direction – the persistance of Brown? – and the need for an apolitical leader

John Lipsky, interim MD of the Fund, is selectively quoted by the BBC as offering Christine Lagarde as “an excellent choice” for the job. They fished true, but he did his best to dodge the bait. It’s not that he didn’t say that but as one would expect, he chose his words carefully – “I have the very highest regard for Ms Lagarde and I’m sure like many other candidates she would be an excellent choice”.

There line being spun is that the right choice of IMF head is crucial for the future of Europe. Here our some thoughts on why the voice of other regions, namely Africa, should not be drowned out.

He also gave some insight into the process, stating that the executive board would meet this week to establish and agree on the process and mechanism – if he wants reminding of how this might look he’d do well to look here (skip to point 5).

Continue reading “More nods in Lagarde’s direction – the persistance of Brown? – and the need for an apolitical leader”

Heading for the right choice? A professional approach to selecting the IMF boss

An April report from 21 civil society organisations calls for the reform of the process for selecting the International Monetary Fund’s managing director. The paper asks for an end to the ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ that gives the US the choice of the World Bank head and European governments that of the IMF. Wishing to see instead a transparent, fair, merit-based process focussed on selecting the best candidate available; whilst ensuring the legitimacy gained from the backing of a majority of countries as well as IMF voting shares.

Read the full report here