Reinforcing the Status Quo

Christine Lagarde named IMF Chief

France's Christine Lagarde, 55, has been named the first woman to head the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The announcement of her appointment came soon after she received the backing of the US and Russia.

Ms Lagarde, the French minister of finance since June 2007, was up against Mexico's Agustin Carstens. An IMF statement said that both candidates "were well qualified".

The post became vacant following the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

"The results are in: I am honoured and delighted that the board has entrusted me with the position of MD of the IMF!" Ms Lagarde said via Twitter minutes after the announcement.

In a statement, the IMF said: "The executive board of the International Monetary Fund today selected Christine Lagarde to serve as IMF managing director and madame chairman of the executive board for a five-year term starting on July 5, 2011."

Ms Lagarde, it said, was "the first woman named to the top IMF post since the institution's inception in 1944".

The 24-member board called both Ms Lagarde and Mr Carstens, Mexico's central bank governor, "well-qualified candidates" and that it decided on Ms Lagarde "by consensus".


More of the status quo from the IMF. Readers will probably recall some time ago that Christine Lagarde was the first contender out of the box in the race to succeed the previous chief. Considering her French and German connections within the Eurozone, it is not surprising she was selected.

The problem, in my view, is that she has given no indication that she will move toward reforming a corrupt system.   Therefore, our forecast of collapse remains in place.