Dominique Strauss-Kahn has resigned as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He left one of the world’s most prestigious posts on 18th May 2011 following his arrest in the USA for attempted rape and other charges. His resignation letter reads as follows:
“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Board:
“It is with infinite sadness that I feel compelled today to present to the Executive Board my resignation from my post of Managing Director of the IMF.
“I think at this time first of my wife—whom I love more than anything—of my children, of my family, of my friends.
“I think also of my colleagues at the Fund; together we have accomplished such great things over the last three years and more.
“To all, I want to say that I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me.
“I want to protect this institution which I have served with honor and devotion, and especially—especially—I want to devote all my strength, all my time, and all my energy to proving my innocence.
John Lipsky is currently the Acting Managing Director at the IMF and speculation is already rife over the selection of a new MD. The organisation manages access to emergency finances of around $624 billion.
The Finance Minister of Brazil, Guido Mantega, has criticised early speculation over candidates including Gordon Brown and Christina Lagarde:
“…It has passed the time when some decisions could be taken by an exclusive group of countries, such as the G7. The G20 has already replaced the main forum for cooperation in the international economy.
“If the Fund wants to have legitimacy, its Managing Director must be selected only after extensive consultation with member countries. As previously agreed, the selection should be based on merit and I am of the opinion that it means no nationality can be excluded, nor any regional preference may continue to restrict the choice of best possible candidate. The Managing Director of the Fund must be a highly qualified with strong technical and political expertise, as well as experience in high-level official positions. This person also should represent a larger number of countries, be open to the need for change and reforms, and capable of understanding the wide range of challenges facing various parts of the world.
“It is understandable that some European countries want to find a quick solution to their problems. However, we must not decide in a hurry for the succession of leadership in such an institution is of great importance. The process should ensure the representativeness and legitimacy of the IMF.”
The MD of the IMF is appointed by the board of the fund for a five year renewable term. Although the appointment is made by a majority of votes cast, the aim is to make an appointment by consensus.