Lagarde’s first press conference, a lot of wait and see

Lagarde gave her first press conference as managing director of the IMF yesterday, a transcript and video are both available online.

She started by outlining the three C’s, a manifesto of sorts, focusing on the Fund’s connectedness, credibility, comprehensiveness and talked on increasing diversity at the Fund. Diversity in membership and the workforce in terms of gender, ethnicity and academic background so that “people are not clones of each other”.  Perhaps this to avoid further criticism of group think that is said to have hindered the Fund at the time of the last financial crisis.

As expected she faced a barrage of questions on the Eurozone crisis, particularly the possibility of a Greek default and restructuring the role of the ECB and the political and social factors at play. Lagarde gave no direct answers saying:

“I’m afraid that I’m going to disappoint you because you are going to point a lot of questions on Greece and I’m going to either elude the responses, or be very sanitized in my responses, simply because the matter is under review.” The board is due to meet on Friday to consider the next tranche of lending so perhaps some illumination will be provided then? Continue reading “Lagarde’s first press conference, a lot of wait and see”


Not 1, but 3 flawed appointments – US and China dividing up the spoils

According to Reuters the IMF is making great progress in filling out its senior management team. It also seems to be setting new records for the number of appointment processes in a single month that can violate the international agreements for all senior management to be appointed through open, transparent, and merit-based processes. It likes like the US and China are already dividing up the spoils.

The US first, with an update on yesterday’s post about Meg Lundsager’s non-appearance for the Lagarde interview with the board. Sources inside the IMF have said that indeed Lundsager, the US executive director, did not attend the board’s interview with Christine Lagarde. We are told she was instead at a meeting at the US Treasury with IMF staff who are conducting the IMF’s annual Article IV consultation – a check up on economic policy that all IMF members undertake. Is that justifiable? Or does it show that really the US had already made up its mind to continue backing the gentleman’s agreement than lets them appoint the World Bank president in exchange for backing a European for the head of the Fund, and so attendance at the interview was optional?

Continue reading “Not 1, but 3 flawed appointments – US and China dividing up the spoils”