News / Economy

Replacing Strauss-Kahn: Who is Next at IMF?

A combination photo of possible successors if Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, leaves the IMF. They are (top L-R) Mohamed El-Erian, Stanley Fischer of Israel, Gordon Brown of Britain, Kemal Dervis of Turkey, Peer Steinb
A combination photo of possible successors if Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, leaves the IMF. They are (top L-R) Mohamed El-Erian, Stanley Fischer of Israel, Gordon Brown of Britain, Kemal Dervis of Turkey, Peer Steinb

Former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of France has been released on bail from a New York jail cell, after being charged and then held for attempted rape.  But only one day after his resignation, the debate over who should replace him has already begun.  

Despite pleading innocence, the images of Dominique Strauss-Kahn in handcuffs was unbecoming of the leader of the global banking institution.

Guilty or not, many - including U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner say the damage has already been done. "Of course, I can't comment on the case, but he's obviously not in a position to run the IMF,” he said.

The race to find a successor is underway. But political analyst Daniel Gros says finding a leader that can satisfy all of the IMF's 187 member countries will not be easy.

"Everybody in the world will, of course, be competing now, but we have to realize that the emerging countries also have widely different interests.  Think about China versus India versus Brazil.  So it will be very difficult to find somebody who serves the political interests of any one group," said Gros.

Since its founding, the top job at the IMF has traditionally been filled by a European.  But there is growing opposition to that arrangement.  Beijing insists the IMF's future leader should reflect the growing clout of developing nations.

And the list of potential candidates is long:  They include Zhu Min, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China; Agustin Carstens, Mexico's central bank governor; and South Africa's former finance chief, Trevor Manuel.

But Owen Barder at the Center for Global Development sees difficulty for non-European candidates. "It will be easier for Europe to come up with a single candidate who they want to nominate than it will be for the emerging markets to get an agreement.  They don't necessarily have the mechanisms and the history of nominating a single candidate.  So the danger is, that Europeans, because they're used to doing it, will find someone very quickly and try to push them forward as a fait accompli," said Barder.

Early European favorites include Axel Weber, the former president of Germany's Bundesbank and French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde.  Right now, economist Jacob Kirkegaard says the frontrunner status belongs to Lagarde.

"Because one, she's a very skillful policymaker.  She's got a lot of experience, both in Europe obviously, but also at the G20 level.  And she has, for better or worse, the advantage - she would represent a new face to the IMF and international organizations because she would be the first woman to run such an organization," stated Kirkegaard.

Ultimately, all sides agree the choice must be based on merit.

"It could be a European, it could be someone from an emerging market or even an American -- the point again being that you should really focus on the fact that you need a credible, well respected, policy heavyweight," added Kirkegaard.

Together, the United States and European nations hold more than 50 percent of the voting power at the IMF.  The U.S. has yet to take a position on who can best fill the vacuum left behind by Strauss-Kahn's stunning departure.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7866
JPY
USD
109.25
GBP
USD
0.6139
CAD
USD
1.1120
INR
USD
61.428

Rates may not be current.