International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chairperson and Managing Director (MD), Christine Lagarde has submitted her resignation from her role after she was nominated on July 2nd for another top post as the next president of the European Central Bank, Reuters has reported.
In a statement issued on Tuesday through the IMF, Ms Lagarde said, “I have met with the Executive Board and submitted my resignation from the Fund with effect from September 12th 2019. The relinquishment of my responsibilities as MD announced previously will remain in effect until then. With greater clarity now on the process for my nomination as ECB president and the time it will take, I have made this decision in the best interest of the Fund, as it will expedite the selection process for my successor.
“The Executive Board will now be taking the necessary steps to move forward with the process for selecting a new MD. David Lipton remains our Acting MD.”
Known as a hard-hitting negotiator among policymakers, the former French finance minister, was the first woman to head the IMF and has led the organisation since 2011. She has delivered financial oversight and guidance for its 189 member countries which include China, Russia and the UK Her second five-year term as head of the IMF was not due to end until July 2021.
Under her tenure, the IMF has navigated the eurozone debt crisis, managed emerging market risks and the threat of a US trade war with China. In November 2018 she warned that disputes and tariffs were putting global growth in jeopardy and urged countries to fix global trade.
She is a tireless advocate for the benefits of trade and is committed to global growth that aids the poor, the middle classes and the empowerment of women. Forbes Magazine ranked her the third most powerful woman in the world last year.
In a move that sees Europe tap first females for powerful roles, Lagarde’s resignation prompted by her nomination as ECB chief, comes in the wake of Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen being elected new European Commission President. Both women were nominated by the leaders of the 28 EU countries following European parliamentary elections in May.
IMF succession is anticipated to be a key discussion point among G7 finance ministers and central bank governors who meet on Wednesday and Thursday in Chantilly, near Paris amid concerns that slowing global growth and trade conflicts will put pressure on vulnerable economies. According to IMF sources, potential candidates for the coveted role include: Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, Bank of Finland Governor, Olli Rehn and World Bank Chief Executive Officer, Kristalina Georgieva.
The European parliament will hold a nonbinding vote on Lagarde's appointment, which is expected to be finalised by EU leaders at a regular summit on 17th and 18th October.
If approved, Lagarde would take over as ECB president from Mario Draghi on 31st October.