Today's DT listed the nationalities of the heads of the IMF since it's conception by John Maynard Keynes at Bretton Woods in 1944. These were 4 French, 2 Swedes, a Dutchman, a German, a Spaniard and a Belgian. There has since 1944 been a tacit understanding the job would always be held by a European but that precedent was set in the immediate post war era with the French, seeking to restore their self perceived Napoleonic position in the world assiduously promoting French candidates culminating in the latest post Strauss candidate, Christine Lagarde, which would up the French dominance of the institution to 45% since 1945.
This is not an irrelevant academic point although I a sure most will find it tedious. Right now 30% to 40% of the Eurozone bail out funds for their PIGS come from the IMF! Its vital for the EU to have control of the IMF funds or their grand project is in real danger of collapse. Expect therefore a huge EU effort to secure the job for the elegant Christine and that effort will of course be strongly supported by Dave and the rest of the British establishment. Merkel will be strongly in the lead on this as every Euro that comes from the IMF is one less from the Dr Frau's piggy bank. Its life and death for the EU to get Christine elected.
It was therefore depressing to hear wee George interviewed on the Eurostar saying the UK would support the 'best' candidate. What a gift to the French! Does wee George not realise the world has changed since 1944 with the rise of Japan and the BRIC nations who are now the UK's fastest growing trading partners. Can he not see that supporting a candidate from one of these non-European countries he would boost British prestige and trade with them no end. As to the Europhile argument that the EU is our biggest trading partner the answer is its a one sided partnership in a static market with us importing from Europe far more than we export
The IMF gets its money from the subscriptions of nation states. The subscription list can be seen by clicking on IMF
In summary, France like the UK contributes 5%, Germany and Japan roughly 6% and the US 17% and Oh Yes a little place called China contributes 4.4%. Its a great deal for the Franco Prussians if Christine gets the job. It gears up their contribution by a factor of 9 and means most of the Euro support is paid by other countries.
Its time for some real politik and tough talking Dave!