Zakaj Dijsselbloem ne bi smel postati direktor IMF

Z Dijsselbloemom, nekdanjim šefom evroskupine, nemško pravovernim izvajalcem stroge politike varčevanja v času hude krize povpraševanja in neolikanim krvnikom Grčije, si ne bom mazal rok. Spodaj objavljam nekaj odlomkov iz kolumne Wolfganga Münchaua v Financial Timesu o tem, zakaj ga finančni ministri EU nikakor ne bi smeli predlagati za novega direktorja IMF. Čakam pa seveda še na odziv Yanisa Varoufakisa, ki mu Dijsselbloem na enem izmed srečanj ni hotel podati roke.

Eight years ago, I argued that Ms Lagarde was best placed to handle the single biggest job the IMF faced this decade: to ensure that the eurozone had some professional support during its crisis years, and to prevent spillovers to the rest of the global economy.

It is one thing for the EU to insist on its own candidate when they have a good one, as they did in 2011. It is quite another when they do not. Last week European officials were considering a shortlist of candidates. Near the top was Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the former Dutch finance minister and head of the eurogroup of his eurozone counterparts. He and some of the other candidates on the list have a lot to answer for. They pushed austerity during the eurozone crisis. Mr Dijsselbloem once famously accused the crisis countries of spending their money on “booze and women”.

EU finance ministers appear to favour him over Mark Carney, the outgoing governor of the Bank of England.

That is the level at which we are discussing economic policy in the eurozone. Such a mindset brought us the fiscal compact, a set of rules to force countries to meet a specific numeric target for the debt relative to their gross domestic product. It brought us the German debt brake, a constitutional balanced budget rule that has ended up producing persistent fiscal surpluses. And it brought Mr Dijsselbloem into the shortlist. There is not much the rest of the world can do about poor eurozone policy choices. But it can, and should, refuse to reward the policymakers with plum international finance jobs.

The skills needed by the next IMF managing director will be different from those required eight years ago. The successful candidate will have to deal with trade and currency wars, blurred boundaries between fiscal and monetary policies, new types of financial crises, and digital currencies.

The next decade could see deep changes in the international monetary system. It is revealing that eurozone finance ministers did not prioritise those issues in their discussions about top jobs. For them, it is all about whether someone is from the eurozone or not, from the left or the right, the north or the south.

The world needs a first-rate person to run the IMF. It should not allow Europe to treat the fund as a dumping ground for washed-up officials.

Vir: Wolfgang Münchau, Financial Times

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