A shrewd negotiator who has run the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but has little monetary policy experience, Christine Lagarde would, as the new chief of the European Central Bank (ECB), face the challenge of having to revive the eurozone economy with a nearly depleted policy arsenal.
Once France’s first female finance minister, and head of the IMF since 2011, she is a strong advocate of female empowerment who has long argued that more women in banking and regulation would aid the stability of the financial sector.
While her selection to replace Mario Draghi at the ECB from November is far from certain, diplomatic sources suggest French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed her for the job and that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s response was “very positive”.
That puts Lagarde in pole position. If picked, she would also start to break down a gender barrier at the ECB, which remains heavily male-dominated.
Lagarde, 63, has blamed the global financial crisis a decade ago in part on testosterone-fuelled greed, once saying: “If it had been Lehman Sisters rather than Lehman Brothers, the world might well look a lot different today.”