There's a new sheriff in town.
Lagarde, 55, currently France’s finance minister, will begin July 5, the Washington-based fund said today. She won the job over Mexican central bank governor Agustin Carstens after gaining a reputation as a skilled negotiator during the financial crisis within both the Group of 20 and the European Union as it provided bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
When she announced her candidacy on May 25, Lagarde vowed to push for quick implementation of a 2010 agreement that makes China the third-strongest voice in the organization and gives more say to nations such as Brazil and South Korea. It also weakens the influence of advanced European economies, which pledged to reduce the number of seats they hold at the 24-person board. She indicated more changes may come. “I would be committed to continuously adapt the representation of the fund, in particular quotas, to changing economic realities,” she told directors during her job interview with the IMF board last week, referring to so-called quotas, which reflect the division of voting power...Lagarde last week dismissed suggestions that she might show favoritism toward Europe. The IMF approved a record $91.7 billion in emergency loans last year and provides a third of bailout packages in Europe.
A fluent English speaker, Lagarde spent a year as an exchange student at Holton-Arms School, a private girls’ school in Bethesda, Maryland. She was selected for the French national synchronized-swim team when she was 15 and competed internationally for two years. Lagarde, who has two sons from a former marriage, still swims several times a week and goes scuba diving in the Mediterranean with her partner, Xavier Giocanti, a Corsican businessman and Marseille resident.
Lagarde Named To Head IMF [Bloomberg]