May 16th, 2011
08:44 PM GMT
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The arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn couldn't have come at a worse time for the International Monetary Fund and its embattled managing director.

But while no one could have predicted the drama that was about to unfold in New York last weekend, economists, at least, began addressing the topic of Strauss-Kahn's succession months ago.

Several names have been touted as potential candidates to succeed Strauss-Kahn, 62, and his deputy, John Lipsky, who has already said he will step down in August.

As you'd expect, many of the favorites come from the world's emerging markets which want more of a say in the boardroom, in accordance with their rising economic clout.

Mind you, experts say it's unlikely the West will cede too much control, especially given ongoing concerns about the solvency of certain Eurozone members.

"The key global posts at the IMF and World Bank will still be carved up as privileges for the United States and the Eurozone," says Rachel Ziemba, a senior analyst at Roubini Global Economics in London.

"If that’s the case, keeping the institutions' legitimacy will remain suspect in the mind of the emerging market countries. They could insist Eurozone countries stick to their deficits and other criteria more stringently," she says.

Here's a snapshot of some of the potential successors the market is putting its money on for the top job.

Tellingly, many of them are from developing world economies. Many of them have also spent time at the IMF or at the World Bank.

1: Mohamed el-Erian. The CEO and CIO of Pimco is French and Egyptian, which could satisfy the 'West and The Rest' divide.

As head of the world's largest bond fund, he helps manage about $1.2 trillion dollars. As such he has experience of managing big budgets and an intricate knowledge of those bond markets, often feared and loathed by many a Eurozone finance minister. El-Erian is no stranger to the IMF either having spent 15 years there during his early career.

2: Kemal Dervis. The former head of the United Nations Development Programme served as Turkey's finance minister, steering the country through painful economic reforms.

He negotiated a vital $16 billion package from the IMF, stabilized the Lira and introduced reforms to tackle corruption. He is no stranger to Washington either, having worked for the World Bank for 22 years.

3: Augustin Carstens. A former finance minister - in Felipe Calderon's administration - in Mexico, one of the U.S.'s most important trading partners. He is now governor of Mexico's central bank.

He has worked for the IMF and was a deputy managing director there. He is married to prominent U.S. academic and economist Catherine Mansell.

4: Montek Singh Ahluwalia. After graduating from Oxford University in the UK, Ahluwalia joined the World Bank, where he became one of its youngest division heads at 28.

He has served as secretary to both India's Finance and Economics Ministries and is a member of the influential advisory body, the Group of 30, in Washington.

5: Stanley Fischer. Governor of the bank of Israel, Fischer is a former vice chairman of Citigroup. Between 1994 and 2001 he worked for the IMF, attaining the position of first deputy managing director. As such, he was at the fund during the Asian financial crisis.

Yet, French candidates have historically dominated the top role at the IMF since 1944, holding the top position 26 years out of the last 33. We should also mention that the man at the helm of the European Central Bank is a Frenchman, Jean-Claude Trichet.

And while Trichet is likely to be replaced by Italian Mario Draghi at the end of the year, analysts like Ziemba caution it's unlikely France will be keen on kissing goodbye to its influence at both institutions in the same year.

"The EU and the U.S. may well lead to the choice of Christine Lagarde, the French Finance Minister," Ziemba says.

A lawyer by trade, Lagarde was the first female to become a G8 finance minister and the first female chair of U.S. law firm Baker & McKenzie.

Lagarde certainly has a good head on her shoulders but whether it's enough to make her the first female head of the IMF, we shall have to see.

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. stargate

    le temps nous le dira sur cette affaire sale.
    complot ou realite?
    si il a fais vraiment sa honte a lui !
    si c'est un complot j'espere qu'il gagnera .
    je suis de france

    May 17, 2011 at 6:53 am |
  2. deepwater805

    Well...I guess Roman Polanski is out of the question...

    May 17, 2011 at 8:14 am |
  3. Mark

    The alleged attack has been reported to have taken place in a $3,000-a-night hotel room. The IMF is supposed to be good with money, yet it apparently has no qualms about wasting it on hotel rooms. When a person travels on business, s/he only needs a basic hotel room, not a luxury suite. Maybe I'm wrong; maybe he paid for the room out of his own pocket. I doubt it, though, as it isn't the nature of businessmen and politicians to rent such rooms on their own tab.

    May 17, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  4. claudine

    je ne parle pas votre langue, mais je pense que vous pourrez traduire ce qui suit.
    si dominique strauss-kann est coupable, il doit être puni.
    le peuple français ne soutient pas les violeurs, la vie de nos politiques nous ait cachée.Ils se protègent entre eux.
    leur monde n'est pas le nôtre.C'est pourquoi les français ne vont plus voter, ou choisissent les extrêmes.
    je pense très fort à la prie pour elle.

    May 17, 2011 at 9:48 am |
  5. Alexandre

    With all my respect, you are very naive Mark... most of people from such organisations like IMF or UN travel on business class... You wouldn't beleive the amount of public money waisted in such things and other luxury buffets, just to show off :)

    Regarding DSK, I don't beleive any second to the charges... I think it's a conspiracy who paid the hotel staff to go in his room and start to warm up the guy then faked an attack or something like this... Even if the justice declares he's guilty, I still won't beleive...

    May 17, 2011 at 9:55 am |

    Don't forget that a person is INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.

    May 17, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  7. feed one more

    wouldn't it be better if they just closed the imf down.

    May 17, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  8. emmanuel Rosenstingl

    It would seem that DSK only paid a fraction of the list price of the room and that out of his pocket. As he said himself " I have three things going against me: I have money, I like women, I am a jew.".
    In Europe, a man is deemed innocent as long as not proven otherwise, Public attorneys must investigate both "For and Against" and must give a reasonned motive to a speciialized judge who decides what happens next.

    May 17, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  9. The french from france


    Just to answer to Mark, it appeared that DSK was on a personal trip so we might have paid the room on his own.
    Anyway I really hope that your Judge will nut up or shut up!! I mean if DSK is innocent well let him go but if he is guilty i really hope that your judge will sent him in a prison cell for the newt 70 years! And i don't mean a private prison with cells of about 70 metter square, I mean the real american prison such as Rickers or Saint Quentin where this perv will have a nice stay !!!

    May 17, 2011 at 10:24 am |
  10. Paul, Lincoln

    A true European socialist, $3000 a night paid for by, yes you have guessed it, the taxpayer via the IMF. Some of us, comrade are more equal than others.

    May 17, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  11. psi

    greed is a B***H !

    May 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  12. Maurício C. Martins

    I propose that Silvio Berlusconi becomes the new I.M.F. Chief!

    May 17, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  13. joe marcuson

    Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    May 17, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  14. Ana Schmidt, Sâo Paulo, Brazil

    I am sure that nothing serious really happened. Certainly there is a husband, or boyfriend's finger behing this accusation. So happened to Bill Clinton, and it is happening now. The interests are: indemnization to the housekeepr to give her family an better financial life, and a guaranty to Nicolas Sarkozy to win the secont term in France. That's all. Sorry that the world give so much attention to this political trap.

    May 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  15. Ana Schmidt, Sâo Paulo, Brazil

    I am sure that nothing serious really happened. Certainly there is a husband, or boyfriend's finger behing this accusation. So happened to Bill Clinton, and it is happening now. The interests are: indemnization to the housekeepr to give her family a better financial life, and also is a guaranty to Nicolas Sarkozy to win the second term in France. That's all. Sorry that the world gives so much attention to this political trap. Posting again with the corrections.

    May 17, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  16. azerty

    @stargate No you are not French your French is not good enough, but nice try.

    @deepwater805 You are right on target! ;-)

    May 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  17. Hakunamatata

    Bill Clinton

    May 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  18. johnny

    the IMF itself has stated the room had cost 500 something dollars, not 3000, and was paid by "DSK" himself, not by the IMF

    May 17, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  19. pjk

    Couldn't agree more with mark.

    May 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  20. joe

    @Mark, please also note that he had an arrangement with Air France to fly on a moments notice in First Class.

    May 17, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  21. Tony

    Don't understand this country( USA) you can't lie on a sex relation ship..You can lie about mass Destruction destroy a country leave it in chaos.. you can have double measures Libya/Syria Israel and Bahrein..
    Hypocrisy some people would call it politics...

    May 17, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  22. François delarue

    Toute cette histoire est TRES remplis de zones d'ombre
    La femme de chambre dit ne pas connaitre dsk alors qu'il y a une photo de lui dans les vestiaire pour avertir qu'il y a un invité de prestige

    De plus je trouve bizarre car il y a. Soit disant une incohérence entre l'heure de l'agression présumé et l'heure a laquelle dsk se trouvait
    selon l'emploi du temps il n'aurait pas pu être la au moment des faits

    Ça sent le complot a plein nez les américains sont plutôt fort a ce jeu Ce n'est pas leur premier coup d'essai et pas le dernier j'en suis sur

    Parlons de cette juge qui a voir son acharnement et le fait quelle est accepté de laisser entrée les camera pendant l'audience révèle plus d'un besoin d'être reconnu comme étant la juge ayant jugé dsk en premier que d'appliqué en toute impartialité la justice américaine qui est tant contestable

    Ensuite venant en Aux media américain
    Je parle de CNN/ the Washington post / the new york Time/ ABC et toutes les autr grande chaine de ce pays
    Qui se permettent de le juger coupable sans lui donné le moindre

    May 18, 2011 at 7:45 am |
  23. François delarue

    Sans lui donner le moindre gramme de soupçon d'innocence et de mettre a la poubelle ou aux chiote sa présomption d'innocence
    (For media made in USA dsk is guilty ) stupid journalist of USA

    May 18, 2011 at 7:49 am |
  24. mtrought

    Isnt it time a black man got the position. I see all these white guys occupying the post let us talk about a black man occupying if we talking about transparency in selection otherwise the rest is b.s.

    May 18, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  25. caborhart

    Need to disband this elitist One World Economy initiative. They make it sound like the EU is really something spectacular. It is, a miserable failure and has been since day one. You've got the power hungry elite trying to control the masses and the worlds money supply. We don't want or need an IMF, the Council on Foreign Relations or any of the other Globalist initiative that's being crammed down our throats.

    May 18, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
  26. caborhart

    Don't need your moderation, I mean censuring.....................

    May 18, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  27. Jeff attention to a story if you're going to comment on it. He WAS NOT in New York on IMF business and therefore was paying the hotel bill himself. This why he cannot claim diplomatic immunity. You're either too dumb to understand this or running a propaganda machine.

    May 19, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  28. myopinion

    Mark Carney.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  29. justin

    I am available – try me for about a week, if it doesn't work, we will seperate with pro-rated salary and benifit fee!! I think that will set me for retirement!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
  30. Ibrahim

    The way DSk has been treated in the news media is not fair at all for a guy of his position. As far as I know, I never saw Bernard Madoff handcuffed on TV or other white collar criminals in Wall Street. What about Eliot Spitzer former governor of New York who was accused of paying an escort as if it were not an adult using his own money. He was portrayed as a criminal and shown on every network. Kobe Bryant was also accused for forcing a housekeeper and sexually assaulting her, but the case was thrown for lack of evidence. This theatrical and cynical way of exposing people who are still innocent until proven guilty are unfair and present the impresssion that the guy in handcuff is already guilty.

    May 19, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
  31. Teby

    I think the Finance finance Minister Christine Lagarde may not be a right choice to the post. She looks elegant and that doesn’t mean that she is up to the role. IMF is best served by someone who understands its functions all around the world than limiting its outlook to European problems. German Chancellor’s comment reflects her narrow mindedness in her perspectives and a chief sharing such a look may to helpful to IMF.

    There are many candidates out there with massive, solid experience working on difficult economic conditions. On a thumb rule, Europeans went stunningly wrong in their competitiveness and financial management. I don’t believe they have the skills to survive in the evolving conditions such as this. They are ideal to a static economy where things are dictated by few. That is gone and be realistic!

    This organisation need someone who can function with haves and have-nots – someone with 20+ years in IMF, proven track record in banking and someone who climbed through hard work than nominations.

    Ask all candidates to make a presentation to G20 on a live TV and let them select the best one.

    May 24, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  32. jonnes

    I will right away clutch your rss feed as I can't find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly let me realize so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:55 pm |

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