Mark Kleiman Was Snarky Last Night: Long-Run Fiscal Crisis and the Future of America Department
Teaching Large Classes

On the Next Managing Director of the IMF

I continue to hold that what is really at stake in the choice of the next IMF Managing Director is the need to get a smart person into the job who will be the voice of full employment, balanced growth, and low inflation. The problem is that the European candidates would all be the voice of the Euroausterian pointless pain caucus--and that would be bad.

Over at the Economist, S.C. begs for the BRICs to unite behind an alternative candidate:

The IMF and emerging economies: I must confess to feeling a bit disappointed with the BRICs.... At this point, it’s no good them railing against unwritten conventions. It’s time to start rallying behind a flesh-and-blood candidate. Agustin Carstens has been nominated by Mexico, of course. But he can’t even count on the support of the Brazilians.... The BRICs and other prominent emerging economies may feel they don’t want the IMF job badly enough to turn this into a real contest. To win a proper fight they would have to paper over some big internal rivalries and annoy some powerful European partners and allies.... Worse to have fought and lost, they must think, than never to have fought at all.... But not showing up has its own costs.... If the emerging economies rally round a candidate of their own, they may not prevail. But as Mr Virmani puts it, “there is still perhaps merit in saying that 'we tried'".

In a properly-run world, I think, the obvious choice would be somebody who had been out there warning about overleverage in 2005...