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

US Gives Malaysia Questionable Upgrade in Human Trafficking Ranks

Malaysia’s upgrade seen as removing barrier to country’s participation in the US-led 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership More

Turkey, US Try to Establish Buffer Despite Differences

Coalition airstrikes in proposed zone would aim to drive out Islamic extremists, allowing targeted area to come under sway of anti-Assad rebels More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe 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.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9043
JPY
USD
123.19
GBP
USD
0.6445
CAD
USD
1.3030
INR
USD
64.170

Rates may not be current.