Investing and Global Finance News

Financial Femme Fatale?

If Christine Lagarde – who was yesterday put on the shortlist to head the International Monetary Fund – succeeds, she will be “the first woman to head the global emergency lender.” She has a pretty good chance too, in the way she has been handling the world economic crisis until now. Once Dominique Strauss-Kahn handed in his resignation last month, this put Lagarde as “the odds on favourite.” Kenneth Rogoff, ex-chief IMF, claims Lagarde’s popularity has rendered her to be “treated practically like a rock star.”

Lagarde’s Impressive Resume

It seems that Lagarde has a pretty good shot at attaining this position. She has already broken records having served as her country’s finance minister since 2007, rendering it the longest stretch in history. As well, her work during the 2008 world financial crisis, and fluent English and French in her position as head of Eurozone finance ministers, will stand her in good stead. Since her country has been head of the G20 group of the largest economies in the world, Lagarde “has been the point woman on efforts to combat the effects of the crisis and reform the global financial system.” Through her work in the crisis, she set up great relations between her counterparts throughout the world’s major capitals as well.

Lagarde’s Lapses

Of course, just like for any head honcho, it hasn’t been completely smooth at the top for Lagarde. While on the one hand she was complimented for much of her work, on the other hand she was criticized for her stubbornness. As well, when she attacked her country’s labour laws as being “complicated, too heavy, and responsible for freezing job growth,” she wasn’t exactly given a standing ovation. Her weak solution for increasing petrol prices was for the French to get on their bikes. Still, everyone has lapses in judgment and at the end of the day, these issues might be seen as just that, putting Lagarde back at the forefront for a very good chance of landing this high-profile position.

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