The markets have been choppy over the week. With fears of US recession still hanging strong and worries of possible Euro Debt concerns and fresh trouble in the Middle East the markets could face troubled times in the near future.
In Europe, Italy has assured investors that the country is planning to bring in as series of austerity measures that could ease the debt fears. The yield on the Italian bonds have jumped up by 5.4% amid wider turmoil, this despite purchases of the bonds by the European Central Bank. Buying bonds supports prices and can take pressure of cash-strapped governments amid a market selloff. Meanwhile, G7 chiefs have vowed to support banks and help the slowing economy gain some momentum. Germany moved towards insulating their banks from possible fallout amid the Greece crisis by assuring funds inflow into the system. French Finance Minister Francois Baroin said today the Group of Eight countries will increase to $38 billion aid for Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Jordan following political turmoil earlier this year.
In the UK the inflation has increased considerably over the month adding more worries to the consumers. The situation is expected to worsen in the coming months. Inflation is currently at 4.5pc.
China has provided some positive news for the markets. The country trade growth accelerated despite weakening global demand. Export growth for the world's second-largest economy grew to 24.5 percent from July's 20.4 percent, while imports surged to 30.2 percent, up from July's 22.9 percent. This growth has been primarily because the country has been able to find new trade avenues in the African continent and not focus only on European shores as high debt and unemployment has affected consumer confidence in the US and Europe.
The stocks suffered their worst ever trading day for the year as fears of a recession in the US and possible default of European countries such as Greece and Italy have cornered the markets. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 240.60 points, or 2.2 percent, to close at 10,913.38. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 28.98, or 2.5 percent, to 1,131.42.
Markets have also factored in a gloomy earnings season which will add further woes to the market. Increase in raw material components mixed with lower margins will affect performance of the big companies which could again determine the movement of the market. Compounding to the woes has been negative data around the year on real estate and consumer purchase which has fuelled the decline in markets. The Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ each lost more than 12 percent this quarter.
Dollar gained some momentum against other currencies as Euro fears added further stability to the dollar. The euro fell to $1.3424 from $1.3559 Thursday. The euro fell 1 percent against the dollar since Monday and is down nearly 7 percent from the beginning of the month.
In the commodity markets Oil has found some new strength as the prices have reached its two year high. Crude peaked near $114 a barrel in May of this year. The prices however have fallen by around 30% over the year. The markets will continue to hover around the current levels. A change in the euro bailout package or renewed optimism among investors about the global economic recovery can only help resurrect the markets.
The markets were volatile the previous week. News ranging from default issues from the EU to fears of recession looming US have created a panic among investors. With US not adding any employment over the month of August and July there are fears that the much talked about employment plan from Obama may not be fruitful. Obama estimates his American Jobs Act would lower unemployment by just a single percentage point by next year, to just over 8 percent, heading into the 2012 presidential election.
The EU crisis has been a pain across the summer in the markets. With countries like Greece and Italy facing problems and fears looming over other members, there has been pressure on the EU giants like Germany and France to take stock of the situation and ensure that the Default does not happen. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wants faster and bolder action to deal with the crisis, and he's calling that crisis the most serious risk to the global economy. According to him critical decisions should not be done after the crisis has occurred, rather preventive measures need to be taken to ensure that the economy does not stutter. Geithner has also requested the European Central Bank to ensure that the member countries get access to capital which is required for the growth of the economy.
The International Monetary fund has also stated that the current crisis has led to the economy reaching a dangerous phase. The panel monitoring the situation have also stated that they are closely observing the situation.
The US stock markets soared for fifth day in a row marking the longest run of gains since late august. The S&P 500 rose 0.6 percent to 1,216.0. The index gained 5.4 percent since Sept. 9, its third- biggest weekly rally since 2009. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 75.91 points, or 0.7 percent, to 11,509.09.
Stocks from retail and household category made a rally. Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, jumped 5.5 percent to $239.30 Rockwell climbed 7.8 percent, the most in the S&P 500, to $56.21. Textron increased 6.8 percent to $18.63, while Tyco rose 3.1 percent to $43.70.
The markets factored in a renewed optimism in Europe about a possible solution for the Euro crisis in which countries like Germany and France have assured investors that they will ensure Greece does not default in its payment. Equities also got a boost as the European Central Bank ( ECB) co-ordinate to lend dollars to bank.
In the currency market the euro again fell against the dollar. The euro fell to $1.3791 from $1.3889 late Thursday European finance ministers have said that the proposal of the next payout package would be deterred until next month. Greece would need the bailout package to avoid going into a possible default. The European ministers also ruled out efforts to revive the economy in Europe after pleas for timothy Geithner to infuse more funds into the system. Europe’s economy is expected to grow at a snail’s pace as huge amount of funds have gone into bailing out Portugal, Ireland and Greece.
In company news Manchester United the most successful club in England have decided to delay the IPO launch until the markets recover to some stability.
Stocks markets dropped sharply after Fed chief Bernanke made no fresh commitment for a bailout package. In a close watched speech, Bernanke stated that Fed will consider a range of steps. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 100 points shortly after Bernanke's remarks
Worries on the economy have not yet eased as data showed that US have not added jobs since July which remains a cause of concern. Much is anticipated from the President $300 billion job package which could add jobs through infrastructure spending. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 119.05 points, or 1 percent, to 11,295.81. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 12.72, or 1.1 percent, to 1,185.90. The NASDAQ composite shed 19.80, or 0.8 percent, to 2,529.14.
On the index, Banks saw the steepest decline. Also, the government said in a press release that the U.S trade deficit has dropped modestly in July which was a cause of cheer for the markets. Further the benchmark index on treasury bills have dropped to its ten year low adding concerns on the bond markets. Meanwhile, the dollar hit the highest level against the swiss franc. The dollar hit a New York session high of 0.8768 franc CHF= after the speech, according to Reuters data.
In news of takeover Google has purchased the popular dining recommendations company Zagat. The price of purchase however has not been disclosed. Zagat polls consumers and compiles reviews about restaurants in the world. This will help google avoid criticism of using information from third party such as yelp on its website. While much of Zagat's content is free and available to anyone, some content remains behind a paywall.
Stock markets surged on news that Germany had given their consent for the proposed bailout package to help bail out troubled EU countries. Stocks rose by nearly 200 points after the German court upheld the bailing out of other European countries. With some more positive news, Italy’s Senate approved a deficit cutting package which added to the momentum in the markets across the globe. The Dow recovered losses which had been occurred over the past three trading sessions. The Dow surged 275.56 points, or 2.5 percent, to close at 11,414.86. All 30 stocks in the Dow average rose.
News of President Obama all set to announce a $300 billion job package has provided fresh impetus to the markets and traders. The package could involve a string of infrastructure development plans, tax cuts and state aids which could boost employment in the economy. Recent data showed that no jobs were added in the US economy over the past month which is a cause of concern. Nearly 14 million people were out of work in July.
The markets also took into consideration a few departures like that of CEO Carol Bartz. Yahoo gained percent to $13.61 after the news. Bank of America jumped 7 percent, to $7.48, after the bank announced a management reorganization that will result in two top officers leaving. Meanwhile, the Fed’s survey on growth of banks has shown that the growth has been relatively modest for the 12 major reserve’s regional bank. Retail major Wal-Mart have declared that they will be looking for acquisitions in Japan to help increase its business. Sales in key stores across Japan have increased following the earthquake and Tsunami.
Stocks across Europe and on Wall Street plunged as investors responded to the US losing its top-notch credit rating, overwhelmed with concern that the world's largest economy will lose further steam. The Dow Jones industrials closed down 634 points, or 5.5 per cent, to 10,809. It was the first time the Dow fell below 11,000 since November and its biggest one-day point drop since December 2008.
Investors have entered into a panic selling phase. The S&P 500 is closing down 79 or 6.7 per cent, at 1,119.46. The Nasdaq is down 174.72, or 6.9 per cent, at 2,357.69. More than 69 stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading volume was heavy at 9.7 billion shares.
This is compounding the concerns investors have on Europe and the pace of economic growth Amid the turmoil investors are turning to US Treasuries. Two-year yields dropped to a record after Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Treasuries were attractive, Bloomberg News reported.
In this climate, the Federal Open Market Committee is expected to keep the fed funds target rate at zero to 0.25 per cent tomorrow, according to the median forecast of 101 economists in a Bloomberg News survey.
While all 10 S&P sectors fell more than 2 per cent, losses were led by those industries most sensitive to the economy. The S&P financial index plummeted more than 8 per cent while the S&P energy index tanked nearly 7 per cent.
Britain and several euro zone countries are likely to have their credit ratings cut in coming months as debt problems worsen, and Western policymakers are bound to embark on more quantitative easing to get their economies moving, American investor Jim Rogers told Reuters on Monday.
He also said Standard & Poor's acted too slowly in stripping the United States of its AAA rating on Friday, and that he remained bullish on commodities as investors turned to real assets amid fears of further quantitative easing by the US and European central banks.
The Japanese yen and Swiss franc benefitted from a flight to safety. The Swiss currency rose to records against the greenback and euro. Gold rose to another record, while silver advanced too, as investors looked for assets that will maintain value.
As Washington focuses on the debt ceiling, there are signs that the rest of the U.S. economy is running into trouble, Coverage of the need to raise the national debt ceiling was a factor in the decline, but a detailed analysis shows a substantial number of reports on problems beyond the Beltway. The proposal to close 10% of post offices, disappointing corporate earnings reports and a lagging housing market are some of the themes that contributed to the darkening mood.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 266 points, or 2.2%, to 11,867, the S&P 500 slid 32.9 points, or 2.6%, to 1,254 and the Nasdaq Composite tumbled 75.4 points, or 2.8%, to 2,669. The FOX 50 dipped 21 points to 897. In a sign of the breadth of the selloff on Wall Street, 90% of the volume on the New York Stock Exchange was in declining stocks. Adding to the negative sentiment, the blue chips have ended in the red for the past eight sessions -- shedding 858 points -- the longest losing streak since the financial crisis three years ago.
A bout of disappointing economic data, including a steep downward revision to first-quarter economic expansion and an unexpectedly sharp decline in U.S. manufacturing, has led market participants to doubt the robustness of the economic recovery in recent sessions.
The markets will also take into consideration the employment report for July is on tap for Friday, and is expected to show the economy added 57,000 jobs, which would keep the unemployment rate steady at 9.2%. The labor market has been extremely slow to come back during the economic recovery.
While the passage of the bill will help the country avoid a catastrophic default, the chance remains that credit ratings companies may choose to downgrade America's coveted 'AAA' credit rating, which could strongly impact world credit markets, analysts say.
Debt deal along with growing concerns in the European Union could scare away investors in the near term. The markets at the moment to have lost the momentum.
UK's three biggest oil companies are set to announce big profits in the range of around $15bn for the past three months. According to one estimate, market leader Royal Dutch Shell is making around $75m on a daily basis. The main reason responsible for this trend is high oil prices, which has increased the earnings of Royal Dutch Shell, BP and BG Group, with the cost per barrel of crude averaging more than $100 for the complete quarter. If experts are to be believed, this has kept UK petrol prices near record highs, as a matter of fact, touching 140p a litre and causing hardship for millions of motorists.
Initial signs are that the profits for the oil companies are going to be their highest since oil prices increase to $147 per barrel in July 2008, just before the world tipped into financial crisis. Statistics wise, there is a strong possibility that Royal Dutch Shell could this year equal or exceed its record yearly profits of $27.5bn in 2008, which is the biggest amount ever made by a UK company in an yearly basis.
Consensus estimates recommend that Royal Dutch Shell will again be the leader with second quarter profits of $6.7bn, up by 43 percent on 2010. On the other hand, BP is all set to come in slightly behind with profits of about $5.7bn, jump from a multi-billion dollar loss in 2010 because of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. What's more, BP got Indian government permission recently to purchase stakes in Reliance Industries' oil and gas blocks. The significant factor in the whole issue is that both oil companies analyze their profits by stripping out modifications in their inventories, terming them as "cost of supply" or "replacement cost" profits. Meanwhile, BG Group, is going to double its profits to $2bn for the past three months, in comparison to 2010.
In news that could ruffle feathers in the Murdoch empire, two longtime executives resigned on Friday due to phone tapping row in the United Kingdom. Their distraught boss apologized personally to the family of a slain phone-hacking victim. Shortly after Rebekah Brooks stepped down, media mogul Murdoch delivered "a full and sincere apology" to the family of 13-year-old murder victim Milly Dowler. This was claimed by the lawyers representing the Millers
Hours later CEO Les Hinton resigned, The Wall Street Journal reported. Hinton had worked for Murdoch more than 50 years. Hinton was in charge of Murdoch's British newspapers while the phone-hacking was reportedly at its peak. Brooks had been with News International for 22 years, including her stint as editor of News of the World between 2000 and 2003.
"The pain caused to innocent people is unimaginable," Hinton wrote in his letter of resignation. "That I was ignorant of what apparently happened is irrelevant and in the circumstances I feel it is proper for me to resign from News Corp. and apologize to those hurt by the actions of the News of the World."
Brooks, 43, known as an aggressive editor and a Murdoch loyalist, resigned by saying the outrage and debate over her position had become too much of a distraction for News International. "I have believed that the right and responsible action has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis. However, my desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate," she wrote in a letter to her staff.
Murdoch, whose U.S. holdings include The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and Fox News Channel, had defended Brooks and refused to accept her resignation, even as politicians intensified their calls that she step down.
One can only hope that the past does not come to haunt the Murdoch’s.
Wall Street had one of its best weeks in years last week. Investors are left wondering if the positive pendulum swing is the beginning of a longer trend of positive economic posts, or if the positive action will be short-lived.
The Dow Jones Industrial finished the last session green by over 168 points to close out at 12,582.77. The S&P 500 finished higher by over 19 points to close out at 1,339.67. The Nasdaq finished off higher by over 42 points to close out at 2,816.03. Gold and silver prices rose Tuesday as investors worried about the latest efforts to give more emergency loans to Greece.
Gold for August delivery rose $30.10 to settle at $1,512.70 an ounce after dipping below $1,500 an ounce on Friday. September silver gained $1.705, or 5.1 percent, to settle at $35.41 an ounce. Investors consider precious metals like gold and silver to be stable stores of value and tend to buy them when they anticipate instability in other financial markets
The Institute for Supply Management will post its June services index. This index is expected to post a decline. Economists are hoping to see the index remain above a reading of 50. It was 54.6 in May. In addition this day, prior to opening bell will be the data posting via Challenger, Gray and Christmas regarding job cut data for June. Added to this is the information from the Labor Department will post initial jobless claims. This number has consistently come in above the 400,000 mark and is expected to once again. In addition this day, the ADP National Employment Index is due out.
This report is highly anticipated, especially after the previous month’s data. Investors on Wall Street will look for trends to parallel those observed during the last week’s sessions as this week comes to an end.
After five days of strong gains in the stock markets that were boosted by receding worries of a Greek default, eyes will likely turn closer to home next week to read the tea leaves of key U.S. economic data including June employment and retail sales reports. The reports indicated that the confidence is being restored among the consumers who are now willing to spend.
On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) capped a run of winning sessions to settle at 12,582.77, a gain of 5.4% on the week. The Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) ended at 2,816.03, up 6.2%, while the S&P 500 (SPX) rose 5.6%.
Even in the holiday-shortened week ahead, there will be plenty of data for investors to digest. The most important dump will probably be Friday's June employment report but there will also be May factory orders on Tuesday, along with the June ADP payroll survey and monthly retail sales on Thursday. U.S. equity markets are closed Monday for federal Independence Day holiday.
While a solid June employment report would go a long way toward improving economic confidence among households and businesses, it appear unlikely based on a modest decline in jobless claims, mixed production survey outcomes and sagging consumer confidence.
Retail sales are looking relatively decent, with some glaring exceptions, as a survey of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters producing a mean estimate of 4.4% same-store sales growth across the tracked chains.
Same-store sales are those at outlets open at least one year and are considered a key gauge of a retailer's health.
In the final week of the month and with "the arrival of the Fourth of July, retailers selling seasonal goods and food should continue to see a sales bump," said Michael Niemira, ICSC's chief economist. But "overall sales for the month still appear to be tracking on a softer side."
Next will also be the last week before second-quarter earnings reports begin rolling out in earnest.
Since the start of the second quarter, aggregate earnings estimates for the second quarter have risen 0.9% with the energy sector recording the highest increase at 13.9%, calculated John Butters, senior earnings analyst at FactSet Research.
The estimated earnings growth rate is 14.1%, he added, while 65 companies have issued negative earnings outlooks and 35 positive ones.
The Dow added more than 150 points on Thursday alone after Greece cleared the final hurdle needed to receive its next installment of emergency loans. This as expected has been a major boost to the stock markets globally.
The rally began Monday when Nike Inc. reported better than expected quarterly results. This showed that consumers were spending more than expected. The stock market's gains put it on track for the best week since July of last year. Reports also showed that auto sales fell sharply in May and that private companies were hiring far fewer people than expected.
Thursday's gains came after Greek lawmakers passed a cost-cutting bill that had to be approved before international lenders would release $17 billion in rescue funds to Greece. The country needs the money to avoid defaulting on its debt. A default by Greece could disrupt financial markets and lead to a widespread European financial crisis.
Traders were also reassured by encouraging signals about the U.S. economy. A trade group reported that manufacturing in Chicago sped up unexpectedly in June. Companies that typically benefit from global expansion led the Dow. Intel Corp., Caterpillar Inc., and Hewlett-Packard Co. each gained more than 2.4 percent.
Stocks are still below the 2011 highs they reached in late April, when a series of weak economic reports indicated that the U.S. economy was slowing down. Since then investors have been debating whether the slowdown would be a short-term blip or the beginning of a long stall in the economic recovery.
The manufacturing report, along with the government's formal end to its bond buying stimulus program known as QE2, sent bond prices lower as investors put less money into safer assets. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury fell to 3.16 percent from 3.11 percent late Wednesday. Bond yields rise when prices fall.
The government of Afghanistan could be bankrupt in the next 30 days, according to the IMF. If the news were to be true Afghanistan will have no money to run the country. IMf has blocked meant a scheduled payment of $70 million from the World Bank-administered Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) was automatically withheld.
The International Monetary Fund has rejected Afghanistan's plan to deal with a failed bank at the center of a corruption crisis, a step that has blocked tens of millions of dollars in aid and may put development projects worth billions more at risk. IMF spokesmen in Washington, Raphael Anspach, said donor countries, and not the IMF, decide when to make payments from the trust fund. "The IMF does not make those decisions nor does it prompt donor countries to disburse" funds, Anspach said.
It was observed that three diplomats involved in negotiations between the aid-reliant Afghan government, donor nations and the IMF said that government officials from Afghanistan were not able to provide substantial information about the corruption and money laundering in the Kabul bank.
Corruption, bad loans and mismanagement cost the politically well-connected Kabulbank, Afghanistan's biggest private lender, hundreds of millions of dollars in what Western officials in Afghanistan now openly call a classic Ponzi scheme.
Donors, however, look to the IMF and the World Bank as a seal of approval in their funding decisions. The IMF has failed to sign off on a new financing program for Afghanistan since the last one expired in September until the government begins to address fund concerns over Kabulbank.
In a list provided by an international organization, Russia, Poland, Lebanon have been named as 21 possible countries that could go bankrupt in the near future.
Leader in the printer ink business, HP is revamping its top executive positions even as the company is trying to beat competition from rivals.
A veteran executive has been given a position in the board while two senior officials have been given the boot. Ann Livermore , a 29 year veteran at HP, who runs HP's enterprise business, has been appointed to the HP board and will step down from her day-to-day management of the division, the company said on Monday. But among the top executives shown the door are Pete Bocian , executive vice president and chief administrative officer, and Randy Mott, executive vice president and chief information officer.
Other changes will see HP CEO Leo Apotheker bring his decision makers closer to him, so from now on Dave Donatelli, EVP of enterprise servers, storage, networking and technology services, Jan Zadak, EVP of global sales and Bill Veghte, EVP of software, will sit very close to the CEO’s ear. All customer-facing units -- including software, sales, servers and storage -- now report directly to Apotheker. Apotheker is also boosting efforts to improve market share in China and India, regions seen as "critical" for success.
Todd Bradley , who leads HP's Personal Systems Group, will work to expand the company's share in China, and Vyomesh Joshi, who leads the Imaging and Printing Group, will work for similar results in India.
HP is the world's largest technology company by sales . It is combating with new competition from Cisco Systems and Oracle Corp , poor consumer spending on personal computers and a possibly expensive expansion into cloud computing.
Apotheker speaking in March, promised to boost profits and dividends by entering sectors such as cloud computing.
HP is experiencing a tumultuous time with Apotheker bringing in new executives and trying to move into new markets, such as tablet computers.
HSBC has decided to pay $62.5m in order to settle a lawsuit brought against it in New York by a Dublin-based fund that lost money because of Bernard Madoff's fraud.
In a media announcement, bank has said that it would pay the money to investors in Thema International Fund, completing one of number of legal cases brought against the bank for its involvement in failing to spot Madoff's $65bn Ponzi scheme.
The significant thing about this negotiation will be that it will need court approval. Bank has already said it should not be "deemed to be evidence of or an admission or concession with respect to any claim of any fault or liability or wrongdoing or damage whatsoever".
It is worthwhile pointing that Thema Fund acted as feeder fund to Madoff and was controlled by Austrian private bank Bank Medici, whose prominent shareholder, Sonja Kohn, has been named in a $59bn lawsuit brought by Irving Picard, the trustee charged with liquidating Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities.
If one looks into the matter in a deeper way, HSBC is among those being sued for $9bn by Mr Picard and the bank has also been named in lawsuits linked to Madoff in Ireland, Luxembourg and Germany, as well as number of other countries.
Although there is no official confirmation as yet but indications are that the London-listed bank is all set to fight these cases and in its statement said it had "good defences against the Madoff-related claims that have been brought against it and will continue to defend the other Madoff-related proceedings vigorously".
HSBC has said it continuously that it was unaware of Madoff's fraud and lost $1bn of its own money investing in funds that were invested in his Ponzi scheme. In May, two funds that are themselves being sued by the liquidators launched their own lawsuit against HSBC alleging it profited from Madoff at their expense.
Troubled Greece of the P.I.G.S fame has sweeped in austerity measures to reduce the fiscal deficit in the country. The series of measures have led to outrage within the country that has already fed up of economic constraints that have been plaguing the country.
The outrage of the public is on the mismanagement of the country. The country is on the brink of insolvency, despite securing a 110-billion-euro (155-billion-dollar) bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last year.
The government has a lined up a series of privatization moves which will lead to public assets being sold to the private companies to generate revenue that could make up for the expected shortfall Government revenue collection from tax payers. Many protesters carried signs and wore stickers reading "We don't owe, we won't sell, and we won't pay" in the demonstration outside parliament.
The prime minister will then present the plan to the political council of his Socialist PASOK party on which is likely to give a green light to reforms to be implemented.
The country is to receive the next tranche of 12-billion-euros worth of aid it needs to avert defaulting on its debt in early July. Any aid for Greece must first be approved by euro zone finance ministers and the IMF's executive board. The country along with Portugal is facing a serious economic crisis which could lead to the country being declared bankrupt.
Credit rating agencies such as S&P have already downgraded their ratings on the PIGS nation. However, the government is facing rising opposition to the new package within its own rank-and-file, while Greece's unions have called a series of strikes in the next two weeks.
Senior officials are calling for a quick replacement for Dominique Strauss Kahn, the fallen IMF chief. France’s Christine Lagarde has emerged as a front runner among candidates for the post.
Singapore Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said in a statement Saturday that the IMF is facing pressing challenges and an early conclusion to the selection process would be advantageous. Tharman is the chairman of the IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee. According to him, the process to find a new IMF chief should be open, transparent and merit-based. Strauss-Kahn resigned from the IMF. This follows from his arrest in New York last week on attempted rape charges of a hotel maid. He was released from jail late Friday but stays under house arrest.
Christine Lagarde, the finance minister of France has emerged as the front runner in the race for the IMF chief’s post. Germany, Britain and other European countries have backed Lagarde to take over as managing director of the International Monetary Fund. The latest is that she has got the backing of China for her candidacy.
Under an arrangement between Europe and the United States, a European has always held the top IMF post while an American leads its sister institution, the World Bank.
However some emerging economies are clamouring for a chance to get the post. Mexico thrust its central bank governor Agustin Carstens against Lagarde in the race to become the next head of the IMF.
Mexico's Finance Minister Ernesto Cordero promoted Carstens as a viable emerging economy candidate for the position of chief of IMF. This post has been monopolized by Europeans since 1946. "We're promoting an appointment based on merit so that the IMF has the legitimacy and credibility it needs to deal with the international situation," Cordero said at a joint news conference with Carstens. But Christine Lagarde is widely regarded as favourite though she has not yet commented on whether she will run.