Race for IMF chief coming to a head

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde announces her candidacy for IMF role at Ministere des Finances on May 25, 2011 in Paris, France.

Jeremy Hobson: Well if you're looking for French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde today you can find her on Twitter. She's taking questions a day before the nominations deadline in the race to run the International Monetary Fund. That's a job she wants and it's one that has traditionally been held by a European.

Developing countries say it's time to change tradition. But they may not get their wish this time as Marketplace's John Dimsdale reports.

John Dimsdale: Some emerging countries are backing one of their own: Mexico's central bank governor Agustin Carstens. But so far, Carstens doesn't have enough support, according to Fred Bergsten at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Fred Bergsten: The truth is that the emerging market economies regard each other more as competitors and rivals, than as allies in a coalition to oust the nasty Europeans or even Americans.

The top job was reserved for Europeans when the IMF was created after World War II. Mark Weisbrot at the Center for Economic and Policy Research says it's time to change.

Mark Weisbrot: It is symbolically rather insulting.

Still, now that European countries like Greece and Portugal are borrowing from the IMF, Europeans say it's not a good time to turn the job over to an outsider.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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