Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer yesterday submitted his candidacy to become managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Bank of Israel confirmed that Fischer had declared his candidacy and said that he had told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz of his decision.
The results of the election for the job will not be known until the end of this month or the beginning of July.
Fischer said, "“An exceptional and unplanned opportunity has crossed my path, one that may never again present itself, to run for the head of the IMF. After much deliberation, I have decided to pursue it, despite the fact that it is a complicated process and despite the possible obstacles.”
In the race to become IMF head, Fischer will line up alongside strong favorite French Minister of Finance Christine Lagarde and Mexican central bank chief Agustin Carstens. The three hopefuls hope to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned last month after being indicted with attempted rape in New York. Strauss-Kahn has pleaded not guilty.
Fischer has seven years experience at the IMF. He said, Due to my unique experience I decided to stand, and I believe I can contribute to the IMF, a central body in the global economy, and also contribute to the world economy in the post crisis era."
Fischer faces two major hurdles in his quest to become the IMF's managing director. The first is that IMF rules stipulate the managing director cannot be over 65, while he is 67. Even if the rules are changed, the fact that the head of the IMF is traditionally a European, while the head of the World Bank is an American, is likely to scupper Fischer's ambitions.
The IMF's managing director will be elected by representatives of 187 countries with the US vote worth 17%. The US traditionally votes for a European head and American deputy head. Fischer has previously served deputy managing director of the IMF and stood unsuccessfully to head the organization in 2000. He has served as head of the Bank of Israel since 2005.
Steinitz said that Israel would support Fischer's candidacy. He said, "On the one hand, we would be happy to see Stanley Fischer continue in his important role as Governor of the Bank of Israel. On the other hand, the very fact of his candidacy for such a prestigious position is a mark of honor for the State of Israel and its economy."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 12, 2011
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