A former Chicago lawyer for Baker & McKenzie announced her candidacy Wednesday for the position of managing director of the International Monetary Fund.
Christine Largard,55, initially had not indicated whether she wanted the job, but now she says she will bring her expertise as a lawyer, manager and woman, the Associated Press reports. Currently, Lagarde is the French Finance Manager.
IMF's last managing director, Dominique Stauss-Kahn, resigned last week after he was accused of raping a hotel maid in New York. Lagarde immediately emerged as the leading candidate but didn't make her final decision on the candidacy until she had time to reflect and spoke with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The Associated Press reported:
Lagarde emerged as the European front-runner in part on her reputation for her deftness at international negotiations to stabilize the world economy during the world financial crisis. She also was seen as instrumental in getting the IMF and European Union to agree on rescue plans for Greece, Ireland and Portugal when their debt crises threatened the entire shared euro currency.
Lagarde is known for her straight-forward nature and is seen as solid candidate to quickly take over and get control of Europe's debt difficulties. However, Lagarde says she will focus on everyone effected by financial crisis.
Not everyone agrees with Lagarde's candidacy. According to the Associated Press:
Questions have surfaced about Lagarde's role in getting arbitration in 2008 for French businessman Bernard Tapie, who won euro285 million ($449 million) as compensation for the mishandling of sale of sportswear maker Adidas. Lagarde was finance minister at the time of the decision. A decision is expected June 10 on whether to open an investigation, according to French media reports. Lagarde said she has "total confidence" about the issue and that investigators should be allowed to do their work.
Representing 187 IMF member countries, the IMF executive board is expected to announce the new leader by the end of June.