The next head of the IMF is expected to be Christine Lagarde. Europe’s leaders are converging on this appointment and if the US goes along the deal will be as good as done. Lagarde is a reasonably well-qualified candidate but this choice, guided by the desire to perpetuate the arrangement under which a European heads the Fund and an American the World Bank, is a mistake.
Moises Naim powerfully makes the case against an outrageous dispensation. He detects the stench of colonialism and I agree.
Even the leaders of the Group of 20, the assembly of nations that accounts for more than 80 percent of the world’s economy and two-thirds of its population, recognize that leadership selection at these institutions must change. When they met in early 2009 in London on the heels of the financial crisis, the G-20 leaders asserted that “the heads and senior leadership of the international financial institutions should be appointed through an open, transparent and merit-based selection process.”
That this is not already the standard is outrageous. No more outrageous, of course, than how European countries are offering countless excuses for why Strauss-Kahn’s replacement must carry a European passport.