Christine Lagarde leaves IMF Thursday to succeed Draghi at European Central Bank – The Economic Journal


Christine Lagarde officially ends her career at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which she resigned in July to take over the presidency of the European Central Bank (ECB), succeeding Mario Draghi in November. The French lawyer and politician will be the first woman to take over the ECB presidency, after being also the first woman to lead the IMF.

Lagarde says the official farewell to the Washington-based institution, which he has led for the past eight years, to leave for the eurozone monetary authority, which has had Italian President Mario Draghi as president for the past eight years.

It was on July 16 that Lagarde resigned from the post of Director-General of the IMF with effect from September 12, and the Executive Council accepted the request, praising her "exceptional" management and "innovative and visionary" leadership.

That day, in her Twitter account, Christine Lagarde indicated that it was “a privilege to serve” the 189 member countries of the Fund.

In early July, EU Heads of State and Government had agreed on appointments to top institutional positions, appointing Christine Lagarde as ECB presidency, succeeding current President Mario Draghi, whose term of office ends on 31 October.

Christine Lagarde became the first woman to lead the IMF in 2011 after the leadership of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, another former French minister who resigned after being charged with sexual assault against a New York hotel maid. .

Now the former French minister will be a pioneer again, becoming the first woman to lead the ECB. For now, the eurozone central bank has only two women among the 25 members of its highest governing body, the Board of Governors.

Prior to Mario Draghi, the ECB was chaired by Frenchman Jean-Claude Trichet and Dutchman Wim Duisenberg, who was the institution's first president.

Unmistakable presence, with a sharp speech and a style applauded as distinguished, elegant and chic, Lagarde was born 63 years ago in Paris and graduated in Law, having a postgraduate degree in Political Science.

She began law practice in 1981, hired by the international law firm Baker & McKenzie, where she worked as a specialist in labor, competition and merger and acquisition matters.

Over time, Christine Lagarde moved up the ranks of Baker & McKenzie, already in the United States, and joined the Executive Board in 1995, becoming four years later its chairman and the first woman to take over the firm.

In June 2005, he left the company to be part of Nicolas Sarkozy's government.

She was nominated in 2005 for the Trade portfolio, and two years later Nicolas Sarkozy chose her to take charge of Economy and Finance. In 2009, the Financial Times considered her the best finance minister in Europe.

As French Finance Minister, she chaired Ecofin in the second half of 2008 and then the G20 during the French presidency in 2011.

When she finished her first five-year mandate at the IMF, following her first line of management of the eurozone debt crisis, she was re-elected by consensus for a second term in July 2016, without any other candidate coming forward. .

Lagarde is divorced and mother of two.

Economists polled by Lusa in early July found Christine Lagarde to have the traits needed to succeed Mario Draghi and succeed as ECB president, although they expressed some surprise in their choice.

Experts also considered that Lagarde would inherit from ECB President Mario Draghi, a difficult but less challenging situation than he faced with the euro crisis.

On 4 September, at the hearing before the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Lagarde praised the work of his predecessor at the ECB, Mario Draghi, and ensured that he would follow “the same principles”.

The former IMF director-general said that "the challenges that justify the current policy of the ECB have not disappeared," so she intends to pursue an accommodative "agile" policy to stimulate the economy.

However, Lagarde stressed that monetary policy can neither replace nor be overburdened by fiscal policies, and said he hoped he would never have to make an announcement like Draghi's in 2012, when the still-leading ECB announced that the institution would “ whatever it took to preserve the euro. ”

The European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs on that day gave its assent to the appointment of French Lagarde as President of the ECB in a non-binding vote.

The opinion will be voted by the European Parliament at the rentrée session to be held in Strasbourg, France next week (from 16 to 19).



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