I was surprised to see how quick off the gates was Wolfgang Muenchau of FT in coming out to bat for another European head for the IMF. I was disappointed too that he said that. Some of these commentators would call for economic openness, transparency and a balanced world but when the opportunity arises, other priorities somehow are more pressing than these. Mohamed El-Erian wrote a good piece calling for the feudal process of selecting the head of the IMF to end. His call was enhanced by his personal declaration of non-interest in the job. He was in the fray the last time around. He is from Egypt.
I am glad to report that Arvind Subramanian takes the battle to Wolfgang Muenchau. He is right to ask the question whether Wolfgang argued for an Asian head of IMF when Asian countries went to the IMF for assistance in 1997-98. I personally think that this is a good opportunity for the Western nations to walk their talk and for the developing world to close ranks behind a good candidate from their own flock, for now. TGS would be happy to see one of the four heading the IMF: Tharman Shanmugarathnam, Trevor Manuel, Montek Singh Ahluwalia or Arminio Fraga.
That it would also undermine the case for the continued American leadership of the World Bank is a bonus.