Brazil and U.S. Back Lagarde For IMF Post; Chances Look Dim For Mexico’s Carstens

June 28, 2011 11:40 am 2 comments

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde leaves IMF headquarters in Washington D.C.

UPDATE: French finance minister Christine Lagarde was named the new head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier this afternoon.

Mexico’s Agustín Carstens, who Lagarde beat out for the post, said he believes that she will “make meaningful progress in strengthening the governance of the institution.”

Mexico’s central bank chief, Agustín Carstens, put in a good run, but it looks more likely now that France’s Christine Lagarde will be the next managing director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) after receiving the backing of the U.S. and Brazil earlier today.

An unnamed Brazilian government source told Reuters on Tuesday that the country was giving its support to Lagarde. This follows a statement by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner endorsing France’s finance minister.

Geithner praised Carstens for having a “strong and credible candidacy,” but the U.S. endorsement virtually seals a win for Lagarde.

Adding to the two endorsements, Russia’s finance minister, Alexei Kudrin, said that Russia would vote for Lagarde’s candidacy as well.

If the predictions appear true, Lagarde will fill the position vacated by fellow countryman Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who left his post after sexual assault charges were brought against him in New York. Lagarde appointment would continue the legacy of European control of the IMF.

Since the formation of the IMF after World War II, Europeans have monopolized the highest post at the lending institution, with the United States helming the World Bank as part of a six-decade long “gentleman’s agreement.”

Mexico and other countries have argued that the selection process should be based on merit and not nationality and Carstens is adamant that the IMF does not need a European to solve the debt crisis in the euro zone.

Brazil’s backing of Lagarde seems at odds with its argument that it, along with other emerging economies like China and India, are under-represented in the European-controlled IMF. These emerging markets are beginning to hold more influence over the IMF, especially as their economies show signs of growth, while many developed countries – the United States and European nations, for example — are still trying to start-up their own economic growth after the global recession.

Carstens, who gained the backing Latin American nations like Chile and Peru as well as Australia and Canada, believes that emerging markets need to play a much larger role in setting the agenda of the IMF. He also said that the European dependence on the IMF to bail out several of its members could be a challenge to Lagarde’s ability to take a hard stance as the Fund’s leader.

However, with the support of powerhouses like Brazil, the U.S., Russia and several major developing countries, Lagarde has more than half the votes needed to win the top job when the IMF board meets later today.

Photo: International Monetary Fund @ Flickr.

2 Comments

Leave a Reply


Other News

  • Argentina Southern Cone Today in Latin America Case Against President Cristina Fernández Dismissed

    Case Against President Cristina Fernández Dismissed

    Top Story — A federal judge in Argentina has dismissed a criminal complaint against President Cristina Fernández that has captivated the country since the prosecutor working on the case, Alberto Nisman, was found dead in his apartment in January, just hours before he was to testify against Fernández. Ruling that Nisman’s case was not sufficient to warrant a criminal investigation of Fernández, Judge Daniel Rafecas said that there was “not even circumstantial evidence” against the president. Nisman, whose case was […]

    Read more →
  • Brazil Southern Cone Today in Latin America Truckers’ Protest Snags Brazil Highways, Economy

    Truckers’ Protest Snags Brazil Highways, Economy

    Truck drivers in Brazil continued blocking roads across much of the country on Wednesday, and the government offer aimed at halting the protests did not immediately receive a reply, Reuters reported. Drivers in at least 10 states are protesting a tax on diesel fuel put in place by the government of President Dilma Rousseff, amid a larger effort to close a wide budget deficit. The widespread blockades, which have resulted in shortages of food and fuel and hampered Brazil’s exports, […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Today in Latin America Venezuela Outrage Across Venezuela as 14-Year-Old Killed During Protest

    Outrage Across Venezuela as 14-Year-Old Killed During Protest

    Top Story — Venezuelan police fatally shot a student during demonstrations on Tuesday in the city of San Cristóbal, sparking intensified protests in the city and calls for a new anti-government rally, The Associated Press reported. The shooting, which members of the ruling socialist government including President Nicolás Maduro quickly painted as an unfortunate accident, comes amid a time of increased tension in Venezuela, as a major opposition figure was stripped of his seat on the same day in connection […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba Today in Latin America More Than 100 Cuban Dissidents Arrested Ahead of Second Round of Talks

    More Than 100 Cuban Dissidents Arrested Ahead of Second Round of Talks

    Top Story — The assistant secretary of state and highest-ranking U.S. diplomat for Latin America, Roberta Jacobson, expressed concern over the silencing of dissident voices in Cuba, following reports that over 100 anti-government protesters were arrested over the weekend. Fifty-three members of the prominent dissident group Ladies in White were arrested on Sunday — according to the group’s leader Berta Soler — along with 36 other activists. The leader of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, Elizardo […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Peru Today in Latin America Espionage Allegations Threaten Relations Between Peru and Chile

    Espionage Allegations Threaten Relations Between Peru and Chile

    Top Story — The diplomatic crisis between Peru and Chile over a suspected spying plot intensified over the weekend as Peruvian President Ollanta Humala sent a strongly worded letter to Chilean officials and announced that he would withdraw the country’s ambassador from Chile. Ollanta’s letter and statement follow revelations last week that three Peruvian naval officials are suspected of spying for Chile. Two of the three officers are currently standing trial for treason in a Peruvian military court, while the […]

    Read more →
  • North America Today in Latin America Great Reads — February 22, 2015

    Great Reads — February 22, 2015

    Killing in Washington State Offers ‘Ferguson’ Moment for Hispanics Julie Turkewitz and Richard A. Oppel Jr. The New York Times. February 16, 2015. On the afternoon of Feb. 10, Antonio Zambrano-Montes — a 35-year-old Hispanic resident of the agricultural town of Pasco, Washington — reportedly threw rocks at cars and police officers. Zambrano-Montes then ran away, with three officers right behind him. A graphic video shot by an onlooker captured what happened next: Zambrano-Montes turned around and put his hands […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Today in Latin America Venezuela Caracas Mayor Arrested Over Alleged U.S.-Backed Conspiracy

    Caracas Mayor Arrested Over Alleged U.S.-Backed Conspiracy

    Top Story — Venezuelan intelligence agents arrested Caracas mayor and opposition figure Antonio Ledezma on Thursday, after officials accused him of plotting a coup against the government of President Nicolás Maduro. Ledezma’s arrest follows declarations made in recent days by Maduro that a group of air force officers were colluding with the local opposition and with the United States to overthrow the socialist government, which has been beset by difficulties including economic woes connected to the steep fall in global […]

    Read more →
  • Argentina Southern Cone Today in Latin America Thousands March in Argentina One Month After Prosecutor’s Death

    Thousands March in Argentina One Month After Prosecutor’s Death

    Buenos Aires was the scene of a major protest on Wednesday as thousands held a rally to express their dissatisfaction with President Cristina Fernández’s handling of the investigation into the mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, The Associated Press reported. While estimates on attendance were not immediately available, the march was one of the largest since Nisman was found dead one month ago in his apartment of a single gunshot wound to the head. Fernández made veiled references to the […]

    Read more →
  • North America Today in Latin America United States Obama Reluctantly Complies With Judge’s Injunction on Immigration Order

    Obama Reluctantly Complies With Judge’s Injunction on Immigration Order

    Top Story — President Barack Obama was forced to suspend on Tuesday the first phase of his executive order on immigration, which would have gone into effect Wednesday, after a Texas federal judge filed an injunction late on Monday that, for the time being, blocks it from taking effect. Judge Andrew S. Hanen’s ruling will bar up to 270,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children from applying for protection from deportation, challenging Obama’s November executive order […]

    Read more →
  • News Briefs North America Transcript: Obama’s Statement to the Press Over Immigration Ruling

    Transcript: Obama’s Statement to the Press Over Immigration Ruling

    On Tuesday, President Barack Obama was forced to suspend the first phase of his executive order on immigration, which would have gone into effect Wednesday, after a Texas federal judge filed an injunction that, for the time being, blocks it from taking effect. The following are Obama’s remarks to the press in reaction to the decision by Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the Southern District of Texas. “I disagree with the Texas judge’s ruling, and the Justice Department will appeal. […]

    Read more →