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U.S. stands behind Lagarde as next IMF chief

by Jorge Hernandez on June 28, 2011

Christine Lagarde of France is looking to fill the hole left by Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the IMF. She now has the support of the United States. Tim Geither, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, gave the following recommendations on behalf of Lagarde, whom many believe is not a shoo-in for the top position at the International Monetary Fund.

"Minister Lagarde's exceptional talent and broad experience will provide invaluable leadership for this indispensable institution at a critical time for the global economy," said Geithner. "We are encouraged by the broad support she has secured among the Fund's membership, including from the emerging economies."

The only other person in the official running for the top position is Agustin Carstens of Mexico. Many countries in Latin America are standing behind Carstens, but Lagarde has been on a worldwide trip to further her candidacy.

Mexico, Australia and Canada are also behind Carstens, according to the Wall Street Journal. Russia is voting for Lagarde.

Not everyone has a positive view on Lagarde and her record. The chief economist at the Center for European Reform Simon Tilford told the New York Times that the European debt crisis has not been handled well.

"For the I.M.F. to be devoting so much financial and human capital to try to combat a problem in Europe which is largely political in origin and can only be solved by political agreement is controversial," said Tilford. "It threatens the I.M.F.’s credibility."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/29/business/global/29fund.html

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