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Jakarta Post

Does Asia need the IMF?

  • Hank Lim and Simon Tay

Singapore   /   Tue, June 7 2011   /  07:00 am

The spectacular resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has led to heated speculation over the next director.

The IMF’s near 70-year-old practice of appointing only a European is under question, with some suggesting that it is time for an emerging economy and perhaps Asia to take the place.

But while no final decision has been reached, another European seems more likely, given both the candidates and structure for voting. In Christine Lagarde, the French Minister of Finance, Europe has rallied around a credible name.

Collectively, Europe has almost 30 percent of the votes in the IMF, with the US holding a further 17 percent. The emerging economies have fewer votes and have not unified around a single person.

Does this mean things will not change? What should Asia do?

The fact is that in ...