New IMF Chief Christine Lagarde meets with the press for the first time as managing director
From violence on the streets in the Middle East to the war in Libya; to Greece, where unemployment hovers at about 16 percent and the debt crisis has sparked anger; to the United States, where unemployment sits atop a mountain of problems like a housing crisis and slow financial growth; these are just a few significant elements of the world Christine Lagarde inherits. Lagarde began her new post as managing director at the International Monetary Fund and had her first formal meeting with the press on Wednesday, where she seemed optimistic in her hopes to get the country back on track.
“The International Monetary Fund is here to serve and to provide service to its 187 members,” Lagarde said at the IMF headquarters in Washington, DC.
It may not be the sexiest of news stories, but the inaugural press garnered quite a bit of media attention. It most likely had less to do with Christine Lagarde herself, and more with the reason why she’s here: a scandal.
The controversy of course is with Dominque Strauss-Kahn – accused of raping a hotel maid in New York. That case was recently dropped after it turned out the maid had credibility problems.
Lagarde did her best to try to stay on message, despite the looming interest in her predecessor.
“We cannot be only drive by the hope to reduce fiscal deficits and organize fiscal consolidation in a big way,” she said. “Whether you look at advanced economies or whether you look at emerging markets or low income countries, the issue is employment.”
Still, managing the debt crises around the world will still fall at the top of her agenda, as the rest of the world watches with hope for stability in an unstable world.