The financial institution has the power to tackle the climate crisis yet it excludes applicants from the global south
It may not be widely known, but the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has always been headed by a European, and the World Bank by a US citizen. This is the unwritten convention, or gentlemen’s agreement, that has held since these twin global financial institutions were established in the aftermath of the second world war.
Yet those with an interest in how, and for whom, the global economy is run have long been deeply unhappy about this cosy arrangement. And these concerns have once again been brought into sharp focus after Christine Lagarde, the IMF managing director, announced she is stepping down next month.