Who is she: Christine Lagarde of France was appointed managing director of the International Monetary Fund on July 5, 2011, replacing Dominique Strauss-Kahn after sexual assault charges in New York City forced his departure. Previously, Lagarde was appointed Minister of Economic Affairs, Finances and Industry in June of 2007, the first woman to hold this position in a G8 country. Prior to this Lagarde was Minister of Agriculture and Fishing and was Minister of Trade under Dominique Villepin.
Earlier, in 1999, Lagarde made history as the first woman chairman of the very prestigious international law firm of Baker & McKenzie. In addition, The Financial Times has named her the best minister of Finance in the Eurozone – although her statement that the economic crisis was "over" at the end of 2008 certainly was far off the mark.
Background: Christine Lagarde was born in Paris, France as Christine Lallouette on January 1, 1956 to academic parents and is a Roman Catholic. Lagarde attended a secondary school in Le Havre, France and later graduated from the all-girls Bethesda, Maryland Holton Arms School. Following secondary school she graduated from law school at Paris X and also received a Master's degree in politics from the Institut d'etudes politiques d'Axis-en-Provence. While in school she worked as an intern for Congressman William Cohen and was on the French synchronized swim team.
In her career path, Lagarde first joined Baker & McKenzie in 1981 and after advancement in the international law firm she was named to the executive committee in 1995 before eventually being named Chairman in 1999. Following her professional and personal interests in Europe Lagarde opened the European Law Center for Baker & McKenzie in Brussels for the practice for EU law.
Lagarde is certainly brilliant and hardworking, given her earlier job as Chairman of Baker & McKenzie. Lagarde is also very "non-French" as a teetotaler, vegetarian and a non-smoker. Although she will probably make a very successful director of the IMF, we are not sure this is a positive development for nations involved with either the IMF or World Bank.
Our view is the IMF and the World Bank have worked together to advance the monetary and political interests of the power elite for decades instead of helping nations in economic trouble as the media establishment likes to describe their financial activities.
Basically, the World Bank loans money to corrupt governments and politicians that loot and squander the funds. This is then followed by the IMF coming to the rescue by insisting on an "austerity program" of higher taxes and lower government spending to ensure the loans are paid.
While the IMF is willing to provide either loans or an outright funding stream to the country in question, there are inevitably provisions to be followed. The IMF will likely insist on higher taxes, cuts in services and often privatization of industries. The IMF has received a bad reputation with developing countries because its solutions often eviscerate the middle class while the privatizations end up involving the fire sale of natrural resources and other assets to Anglo-American corporations.
In any case, we believe Christine Lagarde's establishment successes and hard work has carried her to the top echelons of the Anglo-American power elite and we will be updating her future advancements for our readers as she leads the IMF forward.
Christine Lagarde was ranked the 30th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine in 2008. Lagarde will likely use this power and prestige to work for a stronger European Union, which will be detrimental to national sovereignty and freedom in Europe.
News & Analysis
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