Lagarde’s IMF bid

May 25th, 2011

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde announced her candidacy to lead the International Monetary Fund. Boston University professor William Grimes is chair of BU’s Department of International Relations. He is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and author of “Currency and Contest in East Asia.” He offers the following comments on Lagarde’s bid:

“Lagarde’s announcement appears to confirm French claims that China has informally given her its support.

“It will be interesting to see what the quid pro quo will be for China — particularly given the claim by a People’s Bank spokesperson that China is more concerned about the dominant voting position of the United States than about continued European leadership.

“In fact, of course, the U.S. has a reasonable quota based on its size and influence (in fact, it is arguably even slightly underrepresented), while Europe as a whole is wildly overrepresented.

“Another irony of the situation is that the U.S. has been pushing for greater Chinese quota shares against European resistance for the better part of a decade.”

Contact William Grimes, 617-353-9420, wgrimes@bu.edu

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