Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lagarde To Head IMF, Face Europe Crisis

June 29, 2011

Christine Lagarde was named the first female head of the International Monetary Fund to take on Europe’s debt crisis and balance the demands of fast-growing emerging nations with the needs of a recovering developed world.

Lagarde, 55, currently France’s finance minister, will begin July 5, the Washington-based fund said today. She won the job over Mexican central bank governor Agustin Carstens after gaining a reputation as a skilled negotiator during the financial crisis within both the Group of 20 and the European Union as it provided bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Steering support for those countries and nurturing their economies will remain one of Lagarde’s biggest challenges as she moves from Paris to Washington to begin her five-year term as the IMF’s 11th leader. She’ll also need to restore morale at the fund, which is reeling from the arrest on charges of sexual assault and subsequent resignation of her predecessor, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. He has pleaded not guilty.

“The immediate task is that of dealing with Europe and the end of the financial crisis,” said Edwin Truman, an economist and former official at the U.S. Treasury Department and Federal Reserve, who is now a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “The other question is the one of legitimacy. Most people think that the deals that have been cut so far on voting and representation are not sufficient.”


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