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Politics & Current Affairs

Joseph Stiglitz on the I.M.F.’s Future

The Columbia Nobel laureate says that who the International Monetary Fund chooses as its next leader will determine who will pay for the world’s economic crisis: banks or ordinary citizens. 

What’s the Latest Development?

After being arrested in New York for the alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid, the head of the I.M.F., French national Dominique Strauss-Khan, quickly resigned his post. Currently, the world’s most powerful sovereign wealth fund is looking for a replacement. Nobel economics laureate Joseph Stiglitz thinks the current front runner, Christine Lagarde, France’s current economic minister, is a good match for the job: “She has been an outspoken advocate of financial-sector reforms, and has won the respect of all of those with whom she has worked.”

What’s the Big Idea?

Who the I.M.F. should choose to replace Strauss-Khan has opened a debate about the practices of the world’s most powerful financial institutions. Appointments to top posts are typically made behind closed doors with much of the bargaining pre-arranged. The I.M.F. and World Bank are a case in point. Western powers have agreed that the I.M.F. will be headed by a European and the World Bank by an American. Stiglitz calls for more transparency in the appointment process and is encouraged by the public vetting of candidates he currently sees.


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