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Lagarde set to head IMF following US backing

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Lagarde set to head IMF following US backing


The new head of the International Monetary Fund is almost certain to be Christine Lagarde, after the French finance minister secured the formal backing of the United States.

Brazil and Russia have also said they will support her.

Traditionally Europe has always held the top IMF job, but developing countries warned against a joint US-European deal.

In the end though several threw their weight behind Lagarde.

The US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner praised Lagarde’s leadership. It is thought her experience in handling the European debt crisis may have played in her favour.

Her main rival, the Mexican Central Bank Governor Agustin Carstens, gained backing from Latin American countries, Canada and Australia – but it was not enough.

Christine Lagarde takes over from fellow French national Dominique Strauss-Kahn. He stepped down in May to defend himself against charges of sexual assault against a New York hotel employee.

The IMF’s board meets today to formally choose its new managing director.

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