IMF European chief resigns at crucial moment in crisis


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The Independent Online

The International Monetary Fund's European chief resigned last night, dealing a blow to the fund as European leaders continue to disagree over how to fight the debt crisis.

Antonio Borges, pictured top, who was director of the IMF's European Department since November 2010, cited personal reasons in his decision to step down, effective immediately.

IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, intends to appoint British-Iranian Reza Moghadam, pictured bottom, currently director of the fund's strategy policy and review department, as Mr Borges' successor, effective today, the fund said. It provided no further details on Mr Borges' decision. A Portuguese national, Mr Borges is a former Goldman Sachs vice-chairman in London who had served as chairman of the Hedge Funds Standards Board prior to joining the IMF.

Last month, Mr Borges suggested publicly that the global lender could buy Spanish or Italian bonds alongside the eurozone's bailout fund. He then quickly backed away from the idea, saying the IMF could only lend its funds to countries and could not intervene in bond markets directly.

The IMF said Mr Moghadam would be replaced in his strategy, policy and review job by Siddharth Tiwari, currently the IMF secretary.