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Lagarde: Trade spat threatens world economy

In the selection, the Executive Board adopted a strengthened process that supported the selection of the next Managing Director through an open, merit-based, and transparent manner.

Bulgarian economist Kristalina Georgieva selected new IMF head of IMF

The successful candidate for the position of Managing Director will have a distinguished record in economic policymaking at senior levels. As chief of the IMF's staff and as Chair of the Executive Board, s he will be capable of providing strategic vision for the work of a high quality, diverse, and dedicated staff; and will be firmly committed to advancing the goals of the IMF by building consensus on key policy and institutional issues, including through close collaboration with the Executive Board, under whose direction s he will fulfill his or her responsibilities.

S he will have a firm commitment to, and an appreciation of, multilateral cooperation and will have a demonstrated capacity to be objective and impartial.


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S he will also be an effective communicator. In acknowledging her selection, Georgieva spoke of tempestuous times for the global economy.

Georgieva is to take up her position as managing director on October 1, replacing Christine Lagarde , who is expected to take over the European Central Bank later this year. She inherits the helm of an institution buffeted by the rise of populism in advanced economies and escalating trade conflicts — the largest of which has been driven by the United States, the fund's single biggest shareholder.

Her rise perpetuates Europe's long-standing control over the designation of the fund's leadership. Georgieva, who was championed by Paris, overcame a challenge within the divided European Union from Germany, which had backed former Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

How does this process work?

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire tweeted his congratulations on Wednesday, saying the IMF will, "thanks to your experience, be able to fulfill its role in the world economy. In a sign that Georgieva was indeed a shoo-in for the position, the fund this month formally lifted its age limit of 65 years for the leadership position, removing an obstacle that would have barred the year-old. Under an unwritten rule, a European has led the IMF since its creation in the aftermath of World War II while the leader of the fund's sister organization, the World Bank, has been designated by Washington.

David Malpass , a former US Treasury official who took office earlier this year as president of the World Bank, likewise faced no opposition. An economist by training, Georgieva was previously Bulgaria's EU commissioner from and served as the commission's vice president for budget and human resources from to In , she was a leading candidate to become United Nations secretary-general before losing out to former Portuguese premier Antonio Guterres.

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These stories made other people. Similarly, the eurozone countries alone collectively claim a voting share of The current system has worked well, not just for the United States, but for a sufficient number of countries. The system that has given Europe a sense of entitlement in appointing the managing director has also given the United States a similar presumption to appoint the first deputy managing director. The combined voting share of the United States, Japan, China, the eurozone and a few other EU member countries exceeds 50 per cent by a comfortable margin. Based on short-term national interests alone, none of these countries holding a majority of the voting shares have a strong incentive to change the system.

The reason why the current selection process should end is beyond national interests.

Selection Process for IMF Managing Director

It is not designed to satisfy the demands of the 21st century and is contrary to every principle of good governance in public institutions. For a cause bigger than themselves, European leaders should unilaterally and unconditionally give up their historical claim on the managing director role.

They should honour the agreement they made in among themselves that their then consensus candidate would be the last to be selected under the existing system. Irrespective of the individual merits of potential nominees, there is a compelling reason why the next IMF managing director should come from outside Europe. Choosing another European successor in , three years after the European leaders had agreed to end the current selection process, was inappropriate, no matter how qualified the individual was.

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For the finance minister of a key party to the negotiations to become the managing director of the IMF then was like a major shareholder of a company under financial restructuring becoming the head of its creditor bank.