France’s Lagarde Would Be ‘Excellent’ IMF Leader, Acting Chief Lipsky Says

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde would make an “excellent” head of the International Monetary Fund, said John Lipsky, the acting managing director of the institution.

“She’s done an excellent job as a finance minister and I’m sure she would be an excellent managing director,” Lipsky told CNBC television today. He said other candidates who have been nominated and publicly mentioned also “all seem excellent names.”

Support mounted for Lagarde to head the Washington-based IMF after Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned last week following his arrest on sexual assault charges in New York.

Mexico has offered its central bank governor, Agustin Carstens, as an emerging-market candidate, challenging Europe’s 65-year hold on the job.

Lipsky said the IMF fund and management play no role in the selection of the institution’s head. He said he’s confident the recruitment process outlined by the IMF board last week will lead to an “excellent” choice.

The IMF is co-funding bailout plans for Greece, Ireland and Portugal with the European Union. Asked about the risk of default in those countries, Lipsky said that the IMF has set up financial assistance programs that do not contemplate debt restructuring.

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