Today, France tried the oldest trick in the diplomatic book, presenting what it wishes was reality as reality, when it said that China had backed its candidate for the IMF presidency under Christine Lagarde. That’s great, only it’s totally false. Not only has China not endorsed Lagarde, but according to a statement just released by Jianxiong He of China, as well as every other BRIC, the developing world has just put its stake in the ground and is firmly behind a non-European candidate, stating that “we also believe that adequate representation of emerging market and developing members in the Fund’s management is critical to its legitimacy and effectiveness.” Not surprisingly, the BRICs reference an old promise by none other than Jun(c)ker which “declared that “the next managing director will certainly not be a European” and that “in the Euro group and among EU finance ministers, everyone is aware that Strauss-Kahn will probably be the last European to become director of the IMF in the foreseeable future”.” By creating the BRICs (and South Africa which is a co-signator of the statement), Goldman may have just created a New New World Order Frankenstein monster which will refuse to blindly go with the demands of its now insolvent master. In the meantime, the diplomatic faux pas by the French, if anything, will merely antagonize China, which has so far refused to unpeg the CNY only due to demand by the US to do precisely that, as any accession to foreign demands would be seen by China, and its billion plus producers (and eventual consumers), as a sign of weakness.
Statement by the IMF Executive Directors Representing Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa on the Selection Process for Appointing an IMF Managing Director
Press Release No. 11/195
May 24, 2011
We, as Executive Directors representing Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have the following common understanding concerning the selection of the next Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund:
1) The convention that the selection of the Managing Director is made, in practice, on the basis of nationality undermines the legitimacy of the Fund.
2) The recent financial crisis which erupted in developed countries, underscored the urgency of reforming international financial institutions so as to reflect the growing role of developing countries in the world economy.
3) Accordingly, several international agreements have called for a truly transparent, merit-based and competitive process for the selection of the Managing Director of the IMF and other senior positions in the Bretton Woods institutions. This requires abandoning the obsolete unwritten convention that requires that the head of the IMF be necessarily from Europe. We are concerned with public statements made recently by high-level European officials to the effect that the position of Managing Director should continue to be occupied by a European.
4) These statements contradict public announcements made in 2007, at the time of the selection of Mr. Strauss-Kahn, when Mr. Jean-Claude Junker, president of the Euro group, declared that “the next managing director will certainly not be a European” and that “in the Euro group and among EU finance ministers, everyone is aware that Strauss-Kahn will probably be the last European to become director of the IMF in the foreseeable future”.
5) We believe that, if the Fund is to have credibility and legitimacy, its Managing Director should be selected after broad consultation with the membership. It should result in the most competent person being appointed as Managing Director, regardless of his or her nationality. We also believe that adequate representation of emerging market and developing members in the Fund’s management is critical to its legitimacy and effectiveness.
6) The next Managing Director of the Fund should not only be a strongly qualified person, with solid technical background and political acumen, but also a person that is committed to continuing the process of change and reform of the institution so as to adapt it to the new realities of the world economy.
Aleksei Mozhin, Executive Director (Russia)
Arvind Virmani, Executive Director (India)
Jianxiong He, Executive Director (China)
Moeketsi Majoro, Executive Director representing South Africa
Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr., Executive Director (Brazil)