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The IMF’s Next Five Years

No Rest for the Weary

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in Washington, July 2012. Jason Reed / REUTERS

Last week, the International Monetary Fund announced that it had reappointed Christine Lagarde to a second five-year term as managing director. Lagarde took the helm of the IMF in July 2011, at a moment of deep institutional turbulence: former Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn had recently resigned; the Greek bailout effort, which the IMF had designed and strongly supported, was on the brink of failure; and the fund’s decision to front one-third of all financing for Europe’s rescue packages had been harshly criticized by emerging-market IMF members as a special deal for the West. Meanwhile, as the global financial crisis began to recede, policy coordination among the major industrial economies became less pressing, and the fund’s efforts to offer policy advice outside of its financial programs ran out of steam. In short, it was unclear whether the IMF would be able to deal with threats then facing the global

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