IMF publishes global forecast, Georgieva remains chief

The IMF leader was accused of manipulating a report in favor of China, facts he has always denied. (Photo: 123RF)

WASHINGTON – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) published its global growth forecast on Tuesday, the day after it announced the retaining of Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva as managing director, after weeks of testing scrutiny.

The publication of the IMF report on the global economic outlook is expected at 9 a.m., Quebec time.

Mrs Georgieva, 68, was questioned at the request of the bank’s ethics committee to retain her chief on 16 September following the publication of the findings of an investigation conducted by the law firm WilmerHale.

The leader was accused of manipulating a report to favor China, a fact he has always denied.

According to the IMF’s press release, “The Board of Directors considered that the information presented during its review does not conclusively demonstrate that the CEO played an improper role in relation to the ‘Doing Business 2018’ report when she was CEO of the World Bank. ” .

“After examining all the evidence presented, the Board of Management reaffirms its full confidence in the leadership and the Director General’s ability to effectively continue his/her duties”, the text adds.

The announcement comes as the IMF and World Bank begin their fall meeting on Monday against the backdrop of their integrity issue.

Governing bodies say they have confidence in Mrs Georgieva’s “commitment” to maintaining the best standards of governance and integrity at the IMF.

However, the Board of Directors plans to meet in the future to “examine possible additional measures aimed at ensuring the firm’s persistence” in this area.

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“Difficult Episode”

For her part, Georgieva insisted that the case was “a difficult episode on a personal level”, while confirming that the facts were “unfounded”.

“As the IMF meets this week, I am honored to lead such a talented team that works tirelessly to tackle the world’s biggest challenges, from the fight against Covid-19 to climate change.” Till the fight and fight against economic inequalities,” she also responded.

The matter deeply divided the 24 members of the board of directors.

While France, the United Kingdom and Europe have expressed their support for Mrs Georgieva more widely, the United States has been more reluctant to renew her trust.

In a separate statement, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stressed that her priority is to “preserve the integrity and credibility of the World Bank and IMF”.

However, the Treasury estimated that “in the absence of additional direct evidence relating to the role of the director general, there is no basis for a change of direction”.

The IMF said it conducted a “comprehensive” and “objective” review of the matter, meeting a total of eight times.

During a meeting with the council, Mrs Georgieva condemned the “inaccuracies and misconceptions made by the authors of the report”.

At the same time, it was supported by former World Bank officials and renowned economists including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz.

The Treasury warned Monday evening that it would assess “everything new.”

Washington also believes that “proactive measures should be taken to strengthen the integrity and reliability of data at the International Monetary Fund.”

For its part, the IMF’s executive board insisted that an investigation by the World Bank into possible professional misconduct of employees was “in progress” in the case of the Doing Business report.

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Ms Georgieva took over as the head of the fund on October 1, 2019, replacing Christine Lagarde, a French woman appointed to head the European Central Bank.

Then she was the only candidate for the post.

According to the division of roles inherited from the creation of the Bretton Woods institutions, the Fund is traditionally headed by a European while the World Bank is currently held by an American, David Malpass.

However, in 2019, IMF officials had to change the statute to confirm Ms Georgieva’s appointment was over the age limit, then set at 65.

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