Monday, October 01, 2007

French Socialists Leading International Economic Institutions

At first, you may find it a bit ironic that two of the men leading international economic institutions should be French socialists: you have Pascal Lamy at the head of the World Trade Organization and since last week, Dominique Strauss-Kahn who was just appointed as the new leader of the International Monetary Fund.

Well, that is until you realize that those two men have both a Socialist background and a penchant for the free market. In other words, they’re what the rest of Europe would call social-democrats. But then, it is such a hard sell to the French left France that they have a greater chance of success outside their native land than in their own party.

So, my dear American reader, do not be alarmed: the world’s institutions are quite safe with those two people who are probably extremely competent if you look at their backgrounds - certainly more so than Paul Wolfowitz was at the head of the World Bank.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is said to be:

Epicurean, multilingual and enthralled by technology, Strauss-Kahn casts the figure of a new type of Socialist unbound by the orthodoxies of his party's past — but often branded as too free-market within its ranks. (IHT)

In any case, given the challenges ahead, we’ll find out soon enough. Given his recent time and effort in the campaign for the to the IMF leadership, it looks like he really wanted the job at least.

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