French Finance Minister to Head IMF

Added by on June 29, 2011

Christine Lagarde, France’s Finance Minister, was appointed on Tuesday to head the International Monetary Fund, or IMF. The appointment was made even though several emerging economy nations stated they were interested in the role.

Lagarde assumes her new role on July 5, where she faces the Greek debt crisis, IMF reforms, and the appointment of key roles in the IMF. Countries like Mexico, India, and China hope Lagarde will live up to promises about greater representation and voting rights.

Amid Lagarde’s appointment is talk about whom might fill the number-two position at the IMF. The Obama administration’s likely choice is David Lipton who is known for overhauling economies in trouble. US Treasury Department officials have worked closely with the IMF’s number-two throughout economic crises, helping to shape the IMFs responses. The appointment of Lipton could serve as a conduit between the US government and the IMF. Lagarde’s appointment was possibly motivated a desire by the US to retain the number-two post – the post is officially known as the first deputy managing director – at the IMF. The US and European nations hold the majority of IMF votes and have historically backed European candidates for the top job. Mr Lipton currently holds the role of senior director for international economic affairs in the National Security Council, a role he has held at the White House since 2009.

Recently Ms. Lagarde, known as a straight-talker, played a key role in securing a 750 billion euro EU rescue fund during the debt crisis of 2009.

France is now considering replacing Lagarde’s role as Finance Minister and French President Sarkozy is expected to make an announcement about the new Minister on Wednesday. Possible candidates include current Budget Minister Francois Baroin and Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire.