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
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.
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.
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.