With imprisoned IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn facing calls to resign in the wake of an attempted rape charge, a free-for-all is breaking out between Europe and developing countries over who should get his job.
Traditionally, Europeans head the International Monetary Fund while Americans run the World Bank. But developing nations are challenging that tradition, citing their increasing wealth and role in the global economy as reasons why it's their turn in the driver's seat.
Europeans, though, aren't buying that argument. They are citing the IMF's key role in fighting the eurozone's debt crisis as a key reason to keep the job on their continent. The IMF helps stabilize the globe by issuing emergency loans to countries who fall into financial trouble, and has contributed to bailout loans for Greece, Ireland and Portugal and is playing an important part in monitoring those countries' compliance with the loan conditions.
But Arvind Subramanian, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the former deputy director of IMF research department, said it's hard to follow the European argument.
"In the last 30 or 40 years, when developing countries were the predominant borrowers, I did not hear one voice say because the IMF is involved in Asia, we should have an Asian director," he told FoxNews.com. "What is that about?"
But his departure from the agency is expected to be only a matter of time. While the IMF and the U.S. has repeatedly declared confidence that the agency can continue to fully function while Strauss-Kahn's case unfolds, pressure is mounting for him to step down.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Tuesday that Strauss-Kahn is "obviously not in a position" to run the IMF and that the organization needs to find an interim managing director. The United States has a major say in determining who will head the IMF, in part because it holds the largest number of votes at the 187-nation international lending agency.
The White House said on Wednesday it is not commenting on an ongoing legal matter and not going beyond what Geithner said.
Meanwhile, Europe and developing nations are jockeying for position to claim Strauss-Kahn's job
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/05/18/europe-developing-nations-clash-succeeding-embattled-imf-chief/#ixzz1MksqKd3s