Put Friday 10th June in your calendar. Not just because it’s the closing date for nominations for IMF MD candidates. But also because, in one of those coincidences of fate that seem too delicious to be purely accidental, it’s also the deadline for the French legal system to decide whether to launch a full scale investigation into Christine Lagarde over allegations of abuse of office.
The charges and backstory are a bit complicated – and I’ll do my best to explain it in a moment – but here’s the thing. We could end up in the farcical situation where the leading candidate for IMF head is defending herself against charges that could land her in prison for up to five years – coincidentally also the length of the IMF MD’s term of office.
You have to love the short-sighted European leaders who are pushing her forward – not caring about the damage caused by trampling roughshod over past commitments to fair, open processes, they seem determined to add a high stakes gamble for a two-in-a -row shot at French IMF heads booted out in the same year. You couldn’t make this stuff up.