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Lagarde’s Exit Reopens the Question: Why Does a European Always Lead the IMF?

  • Former French finance minister was nominated to head ECB
  • Move to spark debate if emerging market leader should helm IMF
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Lagarde to Succeed Draghi as ECB Chief
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Christine Lagarde’s premature exit from the International Monetary Fund would spark a fresh debate in global capitals over whether to maintain the tradition of appointing a European as its leader or look to an emerging market for the first time.

Since its founding in 1945, the Washington-based lender has always been run by a European as part of an unwritten understanding that means an American helms the World Bank. That arrangement lived on earlier this year when former U.S. Treasury official David Malpass became president of the World Bank.