Like the royal wedding that preceded it, the visit of President Barack Obama to Britain has been orchestrated well. Beyond discussions of the essential relationship, the U.S. president went out of his way both in his speech before both chambers of the British parliament and in his news conference with Prime Minister David Cameron to support what he calls the emerging democracies of the Middle East.
At the front of the queue are the two countries that sparked the uprisings, one of the least populated, Tunisia, and the most populated in the region, Egypt. There has been criticism from many camps that the U.S. president has been dragging his feet in supporting the North African states who overthrew Zine El Abedine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak.
‘I have decided to present my candidacy. I did this after an agreement with the President and Prime Minister of France. I have received a number of phone calls from countries supporting my candidacy.’
It took Christine Lagarde seconds to deliver these three sentences.
In doing so, she solved a puzzle that had press and politicians occupied for days: would she run to replace disgraced compatriot Dominique Strauss-Kahn as managing director of the International Monetary Fund?
But Lagarde’s decision to throw her hat into the ring raises more questions than it answers. It has also unleashed a ‘Battle Royale’ between ‘old and new world’ superpowers for control of the institution charged with managing the global economy.
Europe and the United States have traditionally dominated the top positions at the IMF and the World Bank. France has provided 4 of the 10 past MDs at the IMF, since its founding in 1945.
(CNN) – We all know that superheroes save the world, but maybe we need to reassess what they look like. Imagine a superhero wearing a suit - a business suit that is, rather than the caped variety.
At St James's Palace in London this week, Prince Charles gave an interesting and provocative speech as he received an honorary degree from London Business School. He is a champion of sustainable business, and practices what he preaches with his own line of food products. He is not the superhero in this story but he thinks business leaders could be our saviors.
His Royal Highness warns, rather gloomily, that the threat of environmental collapse risks causing an economic crash "which is far more dramatic and far harder to recover from than anything we have experienced over the past few years." He says we need to rethink the very economic model that Brits, and the West, take for granted.
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