Stanley Fischer reportedly mulling bid for head of IMF

BOI Governor is considered a "dark horse" for the position, 'Wall Street Journal' reports; Christine Lagarde current front-runner.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 29, 2011 09:45
1 minute read.
The Jerusalem Post

Stanley Fischer 311. (photo credit: Bloomberg)

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer is considering announcing his candidacy for head of the International Monetary Fund, The Wall Street Journal reported in a blog post on Friday.

The position has been vacant since Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned on May 18 after a New York city hotel maid accused him of rape.

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Zambia-born Fischer served as deputy managing editor of the IMF from 1994-2001, vacating the position to become vice chairman at Citigroup. In 2005 he was tapped to head the Bank of Israel, a position for which he made aliya and learned Hebrew.

Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of the OECD, has thrown his support behind Fischer.

"I was always supporting him to be IMF managing director," Army Radio reported Gurria as saying. "I presented him as a candidate in the past, I don't think anything more should be said."

His candidacy for IMF Managing Director would be "a long shot," The Wall Street Journal wrote, especially because French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is currently favored for the spot. General opinion holds that an IMF head with Israeli citizenship would alienate Arab nations, although George Abed, who previously fronted the Palestinian Monetary Authority, told the WSJ he felt that Fischer is "the most qualified of all the candidates that I have seen mentioned in the media so far."

Recent statements made by Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz further support rumors of Stanley's potential candidacy.

On Thursday, Steinitz announced that he supports French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde for the post of IMF managing director - unless Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer decides to run for the job. Steinitz's remark means that he does not rule out Fischer resigning from the Bank of Israel.

Largarde formally announced her candidacy for the post on Thursday.

Globes contributed to this report.



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