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. 

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Love in a time of migrants: on rethinking arranged marriages

Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.

Culture & Religion

In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.

Keep reading Show less