Leading article: This decision should not be made in haste

Share
Related Topics

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation in which Dominique Strauss-Kahn currently finds himself, the US Treasury Secretary was clearly right to say he was "not in a position to run the IMF". Adding his voice to that of European officials who have hinted broadly that Mr Strauss-Kahn should step down, Timothy Geithner said directly that the IMF's executive board should designate an interim head.

In the short term, that might well be the optimum solution. It is understandable that Mr Strauss-Kahn would be reluctant to resign, not least because of how this might be interpreted. Yet the IMF cannot afford to be leaderless, especially not at present, with the global recovery still fragile and the woes of the eurozone far from over. Mr Strauss-Kahn's absence from meetings in Europe earlier this week was keenly felt. His are big shoes to fill. But the IMF has a job to do that cannot wait on the slow-turning wheels of the US judicial process.

Like any major international organisation, it is not well equipped to deal speedily with its own internal emergencies, even if solving those of others is part of its remit. And it is unfortunate that the sudden vacuum at the top comes amid mounting pressure for the IMF to appoint its first non-European managing director. Mr Strauss-Kahn's difficulties thus pose not just one question – who should take over – but whether a long-standing convention is abandoned.

At least there is no lack of candidates; aspiring IMF heads are already jockeying for position, including at least one from Turkey. France's finance minister, Christine Lagarde, would be an obvious choice but for the number of French citizens who have occupied the post. And David Cameron was quite wrong to dismiss Gordon Brown's prospects when he did.

Two imperatives work against each other here. While there is a strong argument for settling the succession fast, ending the European hold on the job is not something that should be done precipitately, and certainly not when the tribulations of the eurozone loom so large on the IMF's agenda. An interim appointment should leave that discussion open.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Police officers attempt to stop illegal migrants from jumping onto trucks headed for Britain in the northeastern French port of Calais on October 29, 2014  

Tighter security in Calais won’t solve the problem

Nigel Morris
 

Football needs its Martin Luther moment, and soon

Boyd Tonkin
US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines