Based in Washington, D.C., the International Monetary Fund was established in 1945 and serves as the intergovernmental organization that directs the global financial system and follows the collective macroeconomic policies of the nearly 200 countries that comprise it. The goals are simple, to maintain the stability of the global economy, maintain high employment, facilitate continued economic development and reduce global poverty. As it influences international exchange rates, it offers loans to financially weak developing countries.
In the wake of the current scandalous departure of former IMF Chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF has a unique opportunity to find a high character successor that will restore integrity to the organization, and to positively alter the future of the IMF by seeking a new chief that has experienced and weathered the challenging economic times of the last 5 years, bringing into the fold a person with relevant experience to gain momentum and manage uncertainty.
As much as Europeans seek another European, the United States an American, and Africa an African, perhaps it would be prudent to seek the “Eastern Wisdom” of a candidate from China to heed the insightful and sensible advice from one of the world’s foremost authorities on understanding, knowledge and judgment, Confucious.
Wisdom of the Ages
Among the most meaningful of sayings, Confucious offered that you must, “Study the past, if you would divine the future”, along with “The cautious seldom err”. Perhaps the noblest advice Confucious offered that is relevant to the future of the IMF is that “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.”
Applying those words of knowledge into reality, one should look no further than perhaps the most successful country over the past ten years that has weathered and even prospered in difficult economic times; China. Its ability to remain successful could be the result of prudent risk management, government influence, social and/or cultural wisdom, economic infrastructure, or the work ethic of the people.
Regardless of cause, it is logical and advisable to look at their success and perhaps lean on and subsequently benefit from one of their leaders to apply those ‘instincts’ to buoy the IMF at a critical time in the economic history of the world.
Two obvious candidates include Zhou Xiaochuan, China’s central-bank Governor, and Zhu Min, special advisor to the former IMF chief. Both are respected and have global perspectives that align with the mission and function of the IMF as an organization.
Watch recent news coverage about the idea of the next IMF chief coming from China:
The IMF has identified June 30, 2011 as the goal to select a replacement for Strauss-Kahn.
Image credit: Wikipedia
You can reach Michael Cerkas via email at [email protected]