29 JUN 2011
Christine Lagarde’s appointment keeps a European at the head of the world’s top lender. And in a debt crisis, having one of its own chairing the IMF could be more important than ever for Europe.
“I think that my intimate knowledge of these mechanisms, of the European community and the eurozone, of its many leaders can help,” said Christine Lagarde, the French minister of finance, at a press conference in May.
Lagarde's main competitor was the Mexican secretary of finance, Agustin Carstens, who argued that her appointment would only add to the perception of bias in the IMF.
“There could be some conflict of interest. The main borrower of the institution will be Europe. So we’ll have the situation when a borrower dominates in the crediting institution,” he said in the run-up to the vote.
Emerging economies, the engine of global growth in recent years, are vastly underrepresented in the organization, with the US and Europe holding half of the votes and veto power.
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