Bookies favor Christine Lagarde to be the next head of the International Monetary Fund. This puts the French finance minister ahead of former South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and Central Bank of Mexico Governor Agustín Carstens. While each of the front-runners has their personal merits, and while the elegant Ms. Lagarde certainly exerts a pulling power over Anglo-Saxon men of a certain age, one strong potential candidate has thus far been overlooked: Central Bank of Chile Governor José de Gregorio Rebeco.
Little wonder: Since the IMF was established in 1944, the top job has always gone to a European. China and other developing countries argue it's time for a change, especially since the financial tsunami of 2008 was principally centered on either side of the Atlantic. But the Europeans are resisting giving up their hold over the institution, while the Americans are remaining silent.
Ms. Lagarde has acknowledged that developing countries have been under-represented in the IMF's higher echelons and said she'd like to "remedy the situation." "We need appropriate representation of high-level staff based on merit from various nationalities and academic backgrounds," she noted late last month.
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