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Lagarde appointed new IMF chief after support from India, US
Christine Lagarde Minister of Economic Affairs, Finance and Industry in France is the new IMF chief; she is the first woman ever to head the international financial institution.
WITH SUPPORT from US and some of the fast developing countries like India, Brazil and China, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde managed to bag the top post at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Lagarde, 55, is the first woman managing director of the international financial institution. Lagarde, who earned the reputation of a skilled negotiator during the financial crisis in European Union and the Group of 20, easily beat her opponent Mexican central bank governor Agustin Carstens for the top IMF post. She will take office on July 5.
This is for the first time in the IMF’s history that it will be led by a non-economist. Lagarde, an antitrust and labour lawyer, joined the law firm Baker & McKenzie, based in Chicago, in 1981. She became the first woman head of the law firm in 1999. Later in 2005, she joined French politics and became the country’s Trade Minister. She was appointed as the country’s Finance Minister by President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007. Lagarde is the first woman ever to become Minister of Economic Affairs of a G8 country. She is the one responsible for changing the country’s labour market rules and making them more flexible.
In 2009, The Financial Times named her the best finance minister in the Eurozone. The same year, she made it to the list of top 20 most powerful women in the world by Forbes magazine. However, Lagarde’s golden image was dealt a big blow last month when she was accused of misuse of power to favour controversial tycoon Bernard Tapie. Investigation continues in the case.
Presently, Lagarde’s main concern is how to help the IMF cope with the Strauss-Kahn sex scandal shock. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former Managing Director of IMF, is accused of sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper in New York City. Also, she is focussing on how to help Europe tackle with debt crisis.
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