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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9211
JPY
USD
119.18
GBP
USD
0.6722
CAD
USD
1.2509
INR
USD
62.518

Rates may not be current.