WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund said on Sunday it still has not decided whether its beleaguered chief will keep his job, threatening to oversee the body’s fall meetings this week due to a lack of clarity over Kristalina Georgieva’s future. has been given.
An investigation by a law firm has concluded that the Bulgarian managing director manipulated data in favor of China during a senior role at the World Bank.
The IMF board met again over the weekend with representatives of the firm, Wilmerhall and Georgieva.
The board said in a statement published late Sunday that it “made further significant progress today in its assessment with a view to considering the matter sooner”.
It added: “The Executive Board has consistently expressed its commitment to a thorough, objective and timely review.”
According to two sources familiar with the matter, the 24-member board – which usually takes a unanimous decision – may meet again on Monday.
The week-long meeting of both the IMF and the World Bank is also set to begin on Monday, when Georgieva, 68, is due to speak during a roundtable, as well as a press conference on Wednesday.
The storm at the top of the fund could divert attention from nominal topics at the top of the agenda, such as threats to global economic growth and helping countries bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
WilmerHale’s controversial findings center on the drafting of the 2018 and 2020 editions of the World Bank’s report ranking countries according to their ease of doing business.
The report proved controversial when the World Bank’s ethics committee called on the law firm, and led to the resignation of Paul Romer, the bank’s former chief economist.
WilmerHel found that Georgieva – along with her colleague Shimon Jonkov, a former Bulgarian finance minister who created the “Doing Business” report, and Jim Yong Kim, the then President of the World Bank – had been on staff to change the calculation of China’s ranking. put pressure on Avoid offending Beijing.
The blow came as the bank leadership was engaged in sensitive talks with Beijing to increase the bank’s borrowing capital.
Georgieva – who took over as head of the fund in October 2019 – has repeatedly denied the findings of the Wilmerhall report. There was no immediate reaction from him on Sunday.
His fate divides IMF members, with Europe and Africa wanting him to remain in office, while the United States and Japan are reluctant to continue, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.
Several prominent economists have come to Georgieva’s defense.
In a statement released by a PR agency created by Georgieva, six former World Bank officials called her “the person most committed to integrity and development.”
And in an opinion piece published in late September in Project Syndicate, an online media outlet, Nobel laureate and former World Bank chief economist Joseph Stiglitz called for impeaching Georgieva a “coup” and Wilmerhall’s report “a hatchet job”. Efforts called.