The board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is reportedly meeting again on Friday to discuss allegations of unethical conduct against top woman Kristalina Georgieva, insiders reported to Reuters news agency.
But whether she can stay or resign is not just a topic of discussion at the IMF headquarters itself. The fate of the Bulgarian would also be discussed at the US Treasury Department.
Georgieva was accused several years ago, when she was still working at the World Bank, of exerting pressure to make China perform better in a ranking for countries with an attractive business climate. Georgieva herself has strongly denied the allegations. She would never have insisted on twisting facts. The issue has already caused quite a stir in the financial world. Nobel laureate and former chief economist of the World Bank Paul Romer recently also strongly criticized Georgieva.
The IMF has decided to investigate the matter thoroughly. As a result, Georgieva herself was extensively questioned this week, and, for example, the authors of the report for the World Bank questioned the actions of the current IMF boss.
The United States is the fund’s main shareholder, which is why the opinion of the Americans could be decisive, according to Bloomberg news agency sources. Washington sees it as its responsibility to safeguard the integrity of international financial organizations. Both the IMF and the World Bank are headquartered in the US capital.
If Georgieva were forced to step down as head of the IMF, she wouldn’t be the first leader to leave the fund prematurely. In 2011, the position of then IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn had become untenable due to an alleged sex scandal. Then Georgieva’s predecessor Christine Lagarde took the helm. That Frenchwoman left in 2019 to become president of the European Central Bank (ECB).
When a successor to Lagarde was sought, former Dutch Minister of Finance Jeroen Dijsselbloem was also one of the candidates. But after a vote, it appeared that Georgieva could count on more support for the top position at the IMF, after which Dijsselbloem withdrew.