There is no consensus in the International Monetary Fund on the fate of the Director-General

Posted on Monday, October 11, 2021 at 11:11 am

The IMF’s continued leadership of Kristalina Georgieva, accused of wrongdoing, remained suspended on Monday, casting a shadow over the institution’s fall meetings this week.

Two sources familiar with the matter said the IMF board, which it believes has made “significant progress” in understanding the issue, may meet again Monday, after a series of meetings last week.

The council, which has 24 members representing 190 countries, makes its decisions unanimously. The goal is to “finish very soon the examination” of this file, a spokesperson explained in a statement Sunday evening, very similar to what was published two days ago.

Even if the IMF management renews its confidence in it, the managing director, the 68-year-old Bulgarian, will come out weak from the issue that erupted with the publication of the conclusions of his investigation on September 16. Cabinet for Wilmerhill Attorneys.

This investigation revealed irregularities in the wording of the 2018 and 2020 versions of the World Bank’s Doing Business report. Its authors accused Kristalina Georgieva of pressuring her teams when she was director of the World Bank so that China could get a better ranking.

This survey was conducted at the request of the World Bank’s Ethics Committee when this report, which ranks countries according to the ease of doing business, was the subject of significant controversy and led to the resignation of its former chief economist, Paul Romer.

The lack of a decision is cast coldly at the IMF and World Bank meetings that begin on Monday.

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Ms. Georgieva is scheduled to speak during a round table on the topic: Reinventing the workplace for women.

But above all his press conference on Wednesday which he is now eagerly awaiting.

The IMF Board of Directors, in turn, heard Ms. Georgieva and representatives of WilmerHale.

But the fate of Kristalina Georgieva, who vehemently denies the allegations against her, is divided among the members of the International Monetary Fund.

On the one hand, Europe and Africa want to preserve it. On the other hand, the United States and Japan are currently reluctant to see it continue its work, according to several sources familiar with the matter.

A source in the French finance ministry told AFP that the Wilmerhill cabinet report “does not allow us to detail specific elements that would directly implicate the managing director of the International Monetary Fund.”

Six former World Bank officials, in a statement issued by a public relations agency maintained by Kristalina Georgieva, recently defended her, calling her “a person of the greatest integrity and committed to development.”

– Integrity of institutions at risk –

Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University’s Center for Sustainable Development, estimated in the Financial Times that his dismissal “would be a dangerous and costly capitulation to anti-Beijing hysteria,” referring to the fact that Washington accuses China of meddling in international institutions. .

Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate and former chief economist at the World Bank, called her impeachment efforts a “coup” and the Wilmerhill report a “demolition company,” in an article posted on the Project Syndicate website. .

Her supporters also highlighted her record during the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, as the leader worked to help the most vulnerable countries.

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This week, US Treasury spokeswoman Alexandra Lamanna clarified that the United States’ “responsibility” is to “preserve the integrity of international financial institutions” that provide benchmark economic data.

The International Monetary Fund is set to publish its latest global economic forecast on Tuesday.

Ms Georgieva took over as IMF Head on 1 October 2019 replacing Christine Lagarde, appointed to the European Central Bank. At the time, she was the only candidate.

The fund has traditionally been managed by a European while the World Bank is in the hands of an American, currently David Malpass.

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