IMF Chief Wannabe: I'm 'Firm When People Are Bastards'

Christine Lagarde aims to take over for Strauss-Kahn
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 26, 2011 4:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – With Dominique Strauss-Kahn otherwise engaged, the IMF needs a new boss—and France’s finance minister is planning a world tour to prove she’s best for the job. Christine Lagarde will stop in China, India, and Brazil to offer her platform, which focuses on giving emerging countries more say at the fund. But she faces hurdles; some say a European shouldn’t take charge of a fund that’s trying to give emerging countries a bigger voice, particularly when Europe’s debt crisis is forcing worldwide damage control, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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“I would certainly prefer to be endorsed by a very large majority, rather than being the European candidate pushed by the Europeans,” Lagarde says. Others note that Lagarde is a lawyer by trade, not an economist. She says one shouldn’t “be fooled by expertise.” Instead, “My approach has always been to pretend that I understand nothing and to force people who are in the know to explain their position.” Nor, she notes, does she suffer from a superiority complex: “I am not an arrogant person," she says, "though I can be very strong and very firm if people are bastards." (Read more Christine Lagarde stories.)

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