Board Decides To Keep Lagarde As IMF Chief After Conviction
The International Monetary Fund's executive board expressed its "full confidence" in IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Monday, hours after she was found guilty of negligence for improperly overseeing a 2008 case when she was France's finance minister.
Lagarde has led the IMF since 2011.
"The Executive Board took all relevant factors into account in its discussions, including the Managing Director's outstanding leadership of the Fund and the wide respect and trust for her leadership globally," the board said in a statement.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said, "We have every confidence in her ability to guide the Fund at a critical time for the global economy."
The case stemmed from Lagarde's role in "settling a legal battle between the French state and business tycoon Bernard Tapie," The Wall Street Journal reported. Lagarde, who was part of then-President Nicolas Sarkozy's administration at the time, was accused of succumbing to political pressure in her handling of the case.
She maintained her innocence, saying she might have been unknowingly negligent but that she did her job as well as she could at the time.
Lagarde thanked the IMF board for the vote of confidence "in my ability to do my job," The Associated Press reported. She said she would not appeal the court's ruling.
The conviction could bolster critics of the IMF, "who could complain about her continued role at the fund," the Journal said.
"She will be a little — slightly — less credible talking about corruption, but the fund can talk about corruption without her," Ted Truman, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, told the Journal.
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