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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Anyone But Brown

The BRICS group of the world's major emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are peeved that the search for a new head of the IMF, following the demise of DSK, is purely Euro focused.

BRICS claim, with some justification, that only having a European leading the fund somewhat undermines its "international" credentials and legitimacy.

I concur, if a suitable non European candidate can be found.

However, a few counterpoints need to be raised:

1 The World Bank is always headed by an American. As long as that is the case, the Europeans will insist that the IMF is headed by a European.

2 A suitable non European candidate needs to be found. A number of names have bubbled to the surface in the media, from various countries. However, in order for them to stand any realistic chance, the BRICS must first agree amongst themselves which one they will support.

3 The EU (an institution many loath) is in financial crisis, as a result of the debt problems of certain countries (eg Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland etc). There is no way that the EU will accept a non European, at this critical stage, to head the IMF. The EU needs a "friend at court".

Political reality is a harsh mistress.

However, there is one thing that the EU and BRICS can all agree on; no one wants Gordon Brown to head the IMF!

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