IMF’s French Minister Poised to Head ECB
Christine Lagarde, a 63-year-old French lawyer, and politician, was nominated for president of the European Central Bank. On Tuesday, European leaders decided to tap Lagarde for the position. A tweet by the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, announced the lawyer’s nomination.
Lagarde is the managing director and chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund (or IMF) since 2011.
Lagarde has expressed her sentiments about the nomination in a tweet, saying that she is “honored” to be considered to lead the ECB and that she will be temporarily stepping aside from her position as the head of the IMF.
If Lagarde will be considered by the European parliament, Lagarde will be taking over Mario Draghi’s post. She will become the first-ever female president of the ECB and the second woman on the council.
The ECB is currently dominated by male officials and experts, enthusiasts are saying that this will be a new feat for women empowerment if Lagarde would get the position.
Mario Draghi, the Super Mario of Europe, is known for his prowess in navigating through European politics. He is also the former chairman of the Financial Stability Board and governor of the Bank of Italy.
Draghi is set to retire from his post this year after 8 years of serving and fighting for the euro-zone, which was a young institution that he has brought into a mature body.
Critics are quick to question Christine Lagarde’s credibility saying that the politician has no formal education in economics.
They added that the French lawyer will rely heavily on experts for guidance. Such insufficiency will be difficult because the position will require real-time negotiations and meetings with other politicians who have different views on monetary policies.
They also said that Lagarde will have a massive shoe to fill following Draghi’s strong run.
But allies are quick to back up Lagarde, saying that she has a good political nous that will be beneficial for the organization. Analysts are also expecting that Lagarde will be following the dovish footsteps of her predecessor.
Lagarde track record includes facing two major setbacks; the $57 billion bailouts of Argentina and the Greek debt crisis.
European Stocks Inches After Lagarde’s Nomination
In hopes that IMF’s Christine Lagarde will follow Draghi’s dovish stance, the European stocks climb slightly. The pan-European STOXX 600 index inched 0.77% or 3.01 points. The index hits its highest since the 1st of May.
Stoxx 600’s food and beverages rose 1.34% or 10.26 points, utility companies gained 1.36% or 4.42 points, and real estate sectors moved up 1.17% or 1.96 points.
The rally is a sign of optimism in the European market over the EU council’s decision and the truce of the United States and China.
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