• Change of culture needed

    The right leadership will help SA shed its culture of violence, says Mandi Smallhorne.

  • 10 tips to find bargains

    Susan Erasmus gives advice on how bargain hunters can get the most bang for their buck.

  • Inside Labour

    Labour's bitter breaches need to be seen in historical context, says Terry Bell.

See More

Israel's Fischer joins race for IMF job

Jun 12 2011 10:53 AFP

Related Articles

Lagarde in lead as Manuel opts out

Manuel not in running for IMF chief

Lagarde punts more representative IMF

Lagarde arrives in China on IMF tour

Brics still talking about IMF head

Carstens: IMF must make choice on merit


Jerusalem - Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer announced on Saturday he was in the race to become the next head of the International Monetary Fund.

Fischer, 67, is a widely respected economist credited with successfully guiding Israel's economy through the global crisis.

He is nevertheless something of a dark-horse candidate, as France's Christine Lagarde and Mexico's Agustin Carstens are generally considered the leading contenders.

Israel's Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said he would be backing Fischer's candidacy.

"A unique, unplanned and possibly and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has arisen to run for the head of the International Monetary Fund, which after consideration, I decided I wanted to pursue," Fischer said in a statement.

"I believe I can contribute to the IMF and to the global economy in this period after the crisis," he said a day after the deadline for nominations closed.

The job became vacant unexpectedly after Frenchman Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned on May 18 to fight sexual assault charges in New York.

The 24-member executive board, representing all the IMF's members, has targeted the end of June to reach a consensus on one of the candidates, which is how it has decided the issue in the past.

Commentators said Fischer was likely hoping he could be a compromise candidate, should the delegates become deadlocked over the other two.

In his statement Fischer acknowledged his bid faced "a complex process and despite the possible obstacles."

One possible stumbling block could be his age. Fischer will be 68 in October and IMF regulations call for a candidate under 65.

His ties to Israel could also prove unpopular in the Arab world.

Nevertheless Steinitz said he would push for Fischer to get the IMF job.

"The job of IMF chief fits Fischer like a glove, both because of his education and the tremendous experience he has built up at the IMF, the World Bank and in the six years in which he has become an asset to Israel's economy as central bank governor," the finance minister said in a statement.

"Our intention is to support this bid and work to assist in its success."

Fischer is a popular figure in Israel, credited with having helped the country's economy weather the recent global crisis in good shape.

"Please, don't go," read a recent headline in Israeli economic daily The Marker.

One columnist in the Financial Times said he was the best candidate for the IMF job, and Euromoney magazine last year put him top of their list of central bank governors.

Global Finance magazine gave Fischer an "A" rating in 2009 and 2010 in a review of the performances of central bank governors.

An American economist, he took Israeli citizenship before accepting the post of Bank of Israel governor. He began his second five-year term in March.

He has held senior positions at the World Bank and was the number two at the IMF and at financial giant Citigroup.

But while he is eminently qualified for the IMF post, his candidacy would be a long shot, as the job traditionally goes to a European, which of course makes Lagarde the favourite.

The resignation of Strauss-Kahn however has sparked calls for someone from the emerging economies to be appointed, which would favour the bid of Carstens, Mexico's central bank chief.

Two other candidates, Kazakhstan's Grigory Marchenko and Trevor Manuel of South Africa, pulled out ahead of Friday's nomination deadline - a move that underscored the widespread belief that Europe already had a done deal.


Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Company Snapshot

Brought to you by BizNews

More from BizNews

We're talking about:


Johannesburg has been selected to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in 2017. "[The congress] will ensure that small business development remains firmly on the national agenda and the radar screen of all stakeholders, the Small Business Development minister said.

Top 10 richest musicians of all time

Check out the gallery to find out who they are!


Luxury living

10 of the most expensive things that will leave your jaw hanging!
Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

How do you see your boss? He/sheis:

Previous results · Suggest a vote