Christine Lagarde has announced that she will be stepping down as managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as a decision on her nomination to become the head of the European Central Bank (ECB) looms large.
Ms Lagarde announced through a statement on the fund’s website that she will be leaving the IMF on 12 September.
In the statement, she said “I have met with the Executive Board and submitted my resignation from the Fund with effect from September 12, 2019. The relinquishment of my responsibilities as Managing Director announced previously will remain in effect until then.”
She also added that she has “made this decision in the best interest of the Fund,” with there being “greater clarity” on the process for her nomination for presidency of the ECB.
Ms Lagarde also stated that “The executive board will now be taking the necessary steps to move forward with the process for selecting a new managing director.”
The former Dutch finance minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who was also a former chair of the Eurogroup, has emerged as one of the main candidates to succeed Ms Lagarde at the IMF, according to a European official that happens to familiar with the discussion.
Other candidates for the position include Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, who also happens to have Irish and Canadian citizenship, and has a term that is set to expired at the end of January. Carney did not rule out considering leading the IMF.
Lagarde has been head of the IMF since 2011, and her second five-year term was not due to end until July 2021. If the European Council approved her ECB nomination, she will become the ECB’s first ever female leader. This role will make her responsible for the euro and the eurozone’s monetary policy.
Lagarde emerged as the front runner to succeed Mario Draghi, who has been serving as President of the European Central Bank since 2011.