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This Time Really Is Different (Is the Money There for Europe and the Rest of the World?)

This is a joint post with Amar Bhattacharya of the G-24

It is more obvious every day that Europe cannot save itself. A meltdown in Europe would not only hurt Europe and the United States. It would also deal a blow to people’s livelihoods everywhere, with high costs especially to people living close to the margin in the developing world. The blow would hurt right away as trade, remittances and commodity prices collapse. And it would continue to hurt over the next two years and more, requiring a long slow slog of the United States and Europe out of stagnation, recession or worse, and knock-on effects in China, Brazil and other big emerging markets that until recently were powering global demand.

Mme. Lagarde: Where Are You When the World Needs You?

This post originally appeared on the blog of the Peterson Institute for International Economics

A letter to Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Dear Madame Lagarde,

Europe is in deep trouble, possibly on the verge of catastrophe, and as a consequence so might be the world. You represent that world and you need to act quickly and decisively, and I am afraid somewhat solitarily. You need to quickly mobilize international resources to help address the problem in Europe, which in turn would help minimize the risks to the rest of the world.

IMF Leadership: OK for Now, but Fixing the Process Shouldn’t Wait

Christine Lagarde is now firmly in place at the IMF, and her competence, political savvy, and good humor bode well for the institution and the global economy.  Indeed, with the crisis in the eurozone upon us, the results of CGD’s spring survey on how a managing director should be chosen at the IMF may feel behind the moment if not the times—but anyone with five minutes to spare should take a look at David Wheeler’s analysis of the results.

Lagarde and the Dragon: The IMF’s New Head Confronts a Rapidly Changing World

Judging from her first public speech since taking office last July, Christine Lagarde is all that her many supporters say she is: tough-minded, articulate, charming.  In a talk hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington’s Ronald Reagan International Trade Center, she deftly laid out key challenges facing the global economy: “an anemic and bumpy recovery with unacceptably high unemployment” in the high-income countries, the debt crisis in Europe, and mounting public debt in the United States.

Can Christine Lagarde Cut it as IMF Head?

As we all know, the answer has nothing to do with experience, intelligence or global scrutiny, and everything to do with the answer to this question:   How would she do on the Daily Show?  Fortunately we already have the answer, from April, 2009.

For those who missed it.

The verdict’s in:  Mais oui, absolument!

The Lagarde Saga

This post first appeared on the Peterson Institute's Real Time Economic Issues Watch.

With the United States throwing its support behind Christine Lagarde for the post of managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it seems that it is all over, except for the shouting (or rather the whim of the French magistrate investigating her role in the Bernard Tapie affair). This result is unfortunate in one respect. Any decision on the Lagarde appointment should have been deferred until she had been legally acquitted in France. Especially, in the aftermath of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair, it was imperative that the new candidate be, like Caesar’s wife, beyond reproach. So, we could still have a situation (admittedly a low probability one) where the world decides to appoint Ms. Lagarde while there is an ongoing investigation against her in her own country. Nothing would have been lost by delaying the appointment by a few weeks.