Debate: Who Should Lead the I.M.F.?
The I.M.F. will need strong leadership as it continues to help euro-area countries deal with massive debt problems. Some think it is time the institution picked a non-European boss.
What's the Latest Development?
The Economist has asked eight guest contributors to weigh in on who should be the new head of the International Monetary Fund. Robert C. McCormack Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business said: "As you do not want the biggest borrowers to be in charge of administering a bank, why do you want a European to be in charge of the I.M.F.? Thus the next managing director of the IMF should definitely not be a European." Gilles Saint-Paul, Director of the Centre for Economic Policy Research, said: "Not a politician. ... First, there must be an arms' length relationship between the director and the member countries, in order to reduce the likelihood of bias in I.M.F. intervention."
What's the Big Idea?
After the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn as head of the I.M.F. on 18 May because of charges that he sexually assaulted a hotel maid in New York, the world's biggest lender is looking for a replacement. Should the next boss be a politician who has the power to sway governments or a bland policy wonk? Should he or she come from Europe or elsewhere? While some think a European leader is necessary to solve the European debt crisis, others don't want to risk any conflicts of interest as member states continue to borrow from the Fund.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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