Fischer given 16/1 odds to become next IMF chief

Fischer served as MIT economics head, IMF first deputy managing director, vice chairman of Citigroup before becoming BoI head.

May 19, 2011 23:31
1 minute read.
Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer

stanley fischer 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer is a 16-to-one long shot to become the next managing director of the International Monetary Fund, after Dominique Strauss- Kahn resigned from the position Thursday to concentrate on battling sexual-assault charges in New York.

Fischer, who has not commented on speculation that he could be considered for the job, is one of 16 possible candidates listed by British bookmaker William Hill, although his odds are well behind those of French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde (6/4) and former Turkish finance minister Kemal Dervis (5/2). Other big names on the list include recently retired German Bundesbank president Axel Weber (7/1), former British prime minister Gordon Brown (8/1) and IMF acting managing director John Lipsky (10/1).

Born in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), Fischer, 67, has a strong reputation in the world of economics. A former head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s economics department, he went on to serve as the IMF’s first deputy managing director from 1994 to 2001, before becoming vice chairman of Citigroup in 2002 and eventually Bank of Israel governor in 2005. He has also authored several books on economics.

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Lagarde actually opened at 20/1 when William Hill began to accept wagers, but those odds were quickly cut after the bookmaker received a “flood of bets” for her, possibly because of reports in The New York Times and elsewhere that she was the early favorite.

Until now, Europe and the United States have had an arrangement made possible by the organizations’ voting systems in which a European runs the IMF and an American runs the World Bank.

However, the Strauss-Kahn affair has reignited calls from outside Europe – mainly from China and Brazil – that the process be open to all candidates regardless of their origin.

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