In the news: Yes, but what will they do? Did you hear the one about the economist and the lawyer?

Sunday’s Financial Times Editorial offered some thoughts on what the next IMF recruitment process should look like and what should be expected of future candidates. The focus, it argues, should be on what the prospective candidate would do as managing director, not their support base or geographical origins, i.e. their plans and policy positions should be made clear. It claims “a better recruitment process for the top IMF leadership will be one of the many things the next managing director will owe to poor and middle-income countries, especially if it is Ms Lagarde.” Amongst others is the deputy managing director position, which by convention is held by the US; and a reform of the Fund’s governance structure.

Hinting throughout at the conflict of interest that would meet a European head given the current eurozone crisis it asks that the next MD “devise a gradual exit strategy from the eurozone” and that the Fund be reinvented “so it can do its part in managing the shift of economic power to the emerging world.” It ends by stating: “Its next boss should make clear that the IMF will be more useful to all its members the less beholden it is to any one of them.”

The New York Times too opines that “we need to know more to decide who would make the best IMF leader at this critical juncture.”

In an interview with BBC former IMF official Charles Adams backs Carstens ahead of Lagarde citing his previous IMF experience and emerging markets knowledge. Later the BBC took a look at who backs whom but got it wrong when claiming the bulk of votes at the IMF are not yet decided

Many are riding the economist Vs lawyer see-saw. Alan Beattie jokes that lawyers are taking over the world, with economists playing second fiddle in finance ministries around the globe. But maybe he’s on to something?

Lastly, with Lagarde riding home is there any chance that the escalating Greek crisis could damage her bid; seeing as many cited her handling of Eurozone talks as cause to back her?

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