Published: Wed, July 03, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Lagarde set to lead European Central Bank

Lagarde set to lead European Central Bank

But in Washington, speculation about possible candidates was already centering on Europeans that had been viewed as contenders for the ECB job, including Bank of Finland Governor Olli Rehn, French central bank chief Francois Villeroy de Galhau, Germany's Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, and ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure.

The Managing Director and Chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, has been nominated to become the next president of the European Central Bank.

"In light of this, and in consultation with the ethics committee of the IMF Executive Board, I have chose to temporarily relinquish my responsibilities as IMF managing director during the nomination period", she said.

Lagarde, a French national, would be the first woman to lead the European Central Bank.

Ms. Lagarde, 63, has blamed the global financial crisis a decade ago in part on testosterone-fuelled greed, once saying: "If it had been Lehman Sisters rather than Lehman Brothers, the world might well look a lot different today".

A former synchronized swimmer, Ms. Lagarde presided over the IMF's biggest bailout, a US$57-billion deal for Argentina past year that was widely credited with arresting emerging market turbulence that risked derailing global growth.

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At the IMF, Lagarde has signed off on bailouts yet also sought to give emerging economies such as China more of a voice, while putting greater emphasis on issues including climate change and income and gender inequality.

But Ms. Lagarde also has a global perspective that many of her rivals for the European Central Bank job lack.

"She's been involved in all the monetary debate and it's not like they don't discuss monetary policy at the fund".

The French former finance minister and current managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is now set to succeed Mario Draghi, whose terms comes to an end in October.

Her selection would mean that the world's two biggest central banks will be run by lawyers.

She has spent much of this year warning about slowing global growth caused by the U.S.

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