IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva can stay, no evidence of ‘immoral behaviour’
Georgieva was discredited by an investigation into unethical behavior at her former employer, the World Bank. This focused on ranking which countries are best for companies to stay in. In 2018, China was wrongly appointed to a higher position. The implicit suggestion is that Georgieva lobbied the researchers. In exchange for this concession, she would have received support from China to inject additional capital into the World Bank.
According to Georgieva, these allegations are not true. The board of directors of the International Monetary Fund, which provides loans and advice to countries in financial trouble, is now behind it. “The information provided in the course of the investigation did not convincingly demonstrate that the Director played an irresponsible role in relation to Doing Business while she was the Executive Director of the World Bank.”
Georgieva could breathe a sigh of relief at the moment. It didn’t look good to her. It received support from the main European countries, China and Russia. Two other major shareholders of the fund, the United States and Japan, were skeptical. In America, Republicans last month pushed for action. According to media reports, calls from Georgieva were ignored by Janet Yellen, the Democratic Secretary of the Treasury.
According to some, the director of the IMF is a victim of political games. Economist Jeffrey Sachs spoke in an opinion piece titled “Anti-Chinese Hysteria” in the United States. Joseph Stiglitz, the former chief economist of the World Bank and Nobel laureate, even spoke of an “attempted coup”. With her calls on governments not to cut spending in times of crisis and do more against climate change, Georgieva will be too progressive for many.
Georgieva grew up in the communist Eastern Bloc. As an environmental economist, she has worked at the London School of Economics and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She then moved to the World Bank to serve as European Commissioner in Brussels from 2010 to 2016. In the battle for leadership of the International Monetary Fund, she gave former Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem the opportunity. Georgieva is the first female director of the International Monetary Fund to come from an emerging economy.
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