Following the resignation of its Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the International Monetary Fund is now without a leader.
And the race is on to find a replacement.
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is seen by many as the front-runner. She has been described by some as a financial “rock star”
“I am convinced that Europe is the way to go as far as we are concerned and any kind of decision should have European support, whatever it is,” she told reporters in Paris this morning.
The European Commission insists the job should be filled by a European, as has been the tradition since the organisation was first mooted in 1944.
This feeling is echoed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who thinks Europe’s debt crisis calls for someone from the region to be appointed. She has suggested one of her own compatriots for the job, the former president of the Bundesbank, Axel Weber.
But the Chinese feel differently and the signs are they plan to challenge the euro status quo.
However the emerging, non-euro markets may not be able to scrape together enough support to get their candidate through without US support.
“We have always believed that the IMF should continue to push for reform and should choose a better senior official, based on fairness and transparency. In principle, we think the developing countries should be better represented at senior levels,” said a government spokesperson in Beijing.
South Korea is a rank outsider, but some have tipped its representative for success.