stiglitz295_Clemens Bilan - PoolGetty Images_georgieva Clemens Bilan/Pool/Getty Images

A Coup Attempt at the IMF

Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF's Managing Director since 2019, has been a bold leader in confronting the economic fallout of the pandemic, as well as in positioning the Fund as a global pioneer on climate change. The efforts now underway to remove her are not only unjust, but could hamstring the Fund's management for years to come.

NEW YORK – Moves are afoot to replace or at least greatly weaken Kristalina Georgieva, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director since 2019. This is the same Georgieva whose excellent response to the pandemic quickly provided funds to keep countries afloat and to address the health crisis, and who successfully advocated for a $650 billion issuance of IMF “money” (special drawing rights, or SDRs), so essential for low- and middle-income countries’ recovery. Moreover, she has positioned the Fund to take a global leadership role in responding to the existential crisis of climate change.

For all of these actions, Georgieva should be applauded. So, what is the problem? And who is behind the effort to discredit and oust her?

The problem is a report that the World Bank commissioned from the law firm WilmerHale concerning the Bank’s annual Doing Business index, which ranks countries according to the ease of opening and operating commercial firms. The report contains allegations – or more accurately “hints” – of improprieties involving China, Saudi Arabia, and Azerbaijan in the 2018 and 2020 indexes.

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Correction Sep 28, 2021 13:46UTC

In the 13th paragraph, the date of the Argentine debt restructuring has been changed from 2005 to 2020.

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