The case over the possible involvement of IMF boss Kristalina Georgiewa in the manipulation of World Bank data has led to a rift between the United States and the large EU states. According to sources close to the IMF, in the days-long talks, the US government was of the view that Georgieva was in fact no longer viable. The Europeans, including Germany, on the other hand supported the Bulgarian, who has headed the International Monetary Fund for two years. The 24 members of the IMF’s Executive Board, which represent all 190 member countries, wished to consult again Monday evening in Washington. The outcome of the discussion had not yet been determined when this issue went to press.
The starting point of the conflict is the so-called Doing Business report, which the World Bank has published once a year so far. The report from the sister institution of the IMF provides information on the ease or difficulty of being economically active in each of the 189 member states. Ranking is very important to many governments because it can help determine how much money international companies and investment funds are putting into an emerging market, for example. According to an official investigation by the American law firm Wilmer-Hale, however, manipulations would have taken place in the preparation of the report for 2017: apparently, the employees of the World Bank embellished the data of China and thus helped the country to get a better ranking than it is. really appropriate. In return, the People’s Republic would have given up opposing a plan to increase the capital of the World Bank.
Georgia’s reputation could already be irreparably damaged
According to Wilmer-Hale, Georgieva, who was managing director of the World Bank under then-president Jim Yong Kim, was not only involved in the manipulation, but also a driving force. Today’s IMF boss, however, vehemently dismisses the allegations and points out that she and her employees did not participate in any deception. Instead, she accuses Adlaten Kim of twisting the report.
While Japan sided with the United States in the conflict, Germany, France, Italy and Britain initially clung to Georgieva. This is hardly surprising, as the now 68-year-old had been proposed by the Europeans for the IMF office. The Executive Council had only announced on Sunday after further hearings on both sides that the situation could now be better assessed and that a decision would be taken “very soon”. In fact, speed is key, as the annual meeting of the IMF and the World Bank begins this Monday in Washington, which will be attended by senior politicians from around the world, including Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD).
The question before the board meeting started on Monday was whether Georgieva had ever been damaged beyond repair to such an extent that she would in fact not be able to continue in office even if she was acquitted by the executive committee. . The IMF boss depends on a good relationship with the US government, which with 16.5% of the voting rights is not only the largest shareholder in the fund, but also the dominant political force.