New IMF chief: who less important than what
With the race for the position of head of the IMF well and truly underway, unions are insisting that who gets the job is far less important than what they do with it. Various names are being promoted, including the two declared candidates, Christine Lagarde of France and Mexico’s Agustin Carstens. Many are arguing that the job should no longer be a fiefdom for Europe (as part of the deal that sees the US monopolising the World Bank head) but given to someone from the global south. But global unions have stressed that, whoever gets it, the key tasks they face are promoting a sustainable growth strategy that delivers more and better jobs, and tackles inequality within and between nations.
In that context, Carstens’ neoliberal instincts would be a disaster, with Lagarde scoring better for advancing Financial Transaction Taxes. But someone like Gordon Brown or South Africa’s Trevor Manuel would be even better. It’s unlikely that the trade union movement’s support will secure anyone the top job, but having a strategy for sustainable growth might just.