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Speculation last week that Paul Keating and Peter Costello could nominate for the top job at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was a mere distraction, but the hoopla did manage to highlight a crucial issue: the need for reform at the top of the world’s economic institutions.
Since Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s dramatic exit from his post as IMF managing director earlier this month, much of the debate around his replacement has focused the need for a non-European to take the reins.
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has emerged as the frontrunner, despite a significant – and warranted – push from the developing economies to see one of their own win the job.
IMF has made it clear that the nomination process will be open and democratic, but if Lagarde’s fast ascent is anything to go by, it seems that some long-standing conventions are proving difficult to break.