With Strauss-Kahn out, could a non-European snag IMF post?
Lobbying has intensified for Dominique Strauss-Kahn's old job. Emerging economies may vie for the IMF's top spot.
The debate over who should replace International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is intensifying now that his departure from one of the world's most powerful financial institutions is official.Skip to next paragraph
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In a May 18 letter released by the IMF, Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who is held at Rikers Island prison in New York on charges of sexual assault, said he wanted to devote his strength, time, and energy to proving his innocence.
"I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me," Strauss-Kahn wrote. He was arrested Saturday after a Manhattan hotel maid told police that he had tried to rape her earlier that day.
Strauss-Kahn is leaving the IMF at a crucial moment for European economies – Greece and Portugal are in financial straits – as well as great economic growth by Asian countries. While many potential replacements have emerged, it's also become clear that the tradition of a European leading the IMF will be challenged by emerging economies.
“Clinging desperately to the IMF top post weakens Europe,” says Thomas Benner, deputy director of the Global Public Policy Institute, a think-tank based in Berlin and Geneva. “It undermines Europe’s credibility in a world with a rapidly changing power balance. Plus, it didn’t take an Asian doctor to cure the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Why should Europe’s current crisis need a European doctor?”
China today reiterated demands made earlier in the week that “fairness, transparency, and performance” should be the decisive selection criteria. Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega demanded in a letter to his counterparts in the G20 group that any new appointment be based on merit, and should represent the broad membership of the IMF.