Carstens Questions European Leading the IMF

Posted June 13th, 2011 at 4:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Mexican central bank governor Agustin Carstens says the next leader of the International Monetary Fund should not be a European because those nations are borrowing heavily from the lending institution.

Carstens, who is a candidate for the IMF's top job, made the comment Monday during a speech at a research institution in Washington. Carstens also said French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, a rival for the post, would create a conflict of interest because of the high borrowing by countries like fellow European Union members Greece, Ireland and Portugal, which have troubled economies.

Carstens also met Monday with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. A Treasury official is quoted as saying Geithner held “good discussions” with Carstens, but that the United States did not endorse a candidate for the IMF post.

In addition to Carstens and Lagarde, Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer is seeking the job of IMF managing director. The IMF is expected to announce the candidates for the post by June 17. The final selection will be made by June 30. On Sunday, Lagarde received a boost in her bid to run the IMF when Egypt, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates endorsed her over Carstens and Fischer.

The IMF is looking for someone to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned last month following his arrest in New York on charges of sexual assault. Strauss-Kahn has said he is innocent.

The job of managing director has traditionally gone to a European. Strauss-Kahn's resignation has brought calls for the next IMF chief to come from a non-European Union country.