As an eonomics student Fischer wrote the text book on macroeconomics. He has the technical know how to actually do what is necessary rather than what is politically expedient – the only concern I would have with Christine Lagarde who is a good choice compared to an excellant choice that Fischer would make. You need someone who knows hoe economics is rather than the politics of how economics can be used.
Heading the IMF
I suspect that an endorsement from me may be the kiss of death — but anyway, Stan Fischer really would be the best choice.
The obvious disclosure: Stan was my teacher and my colleague for many years, so of course I’m not objective. But personal ties aren’t the issue.
The point, instead, is that we’re living in times that require creative, independent thinking. An IMF managing director who serves as the front man or woman for the usual suspects, for conventional wisdom in unconventional times, is not what we need. And that’s what I fear Christine Lagarde, by all accounts an impressive person, but not someone with strong independent judgment on economics, would be. If she is the new MD, I’ll hope for the best, but I won’t expect it.
Stan, by contrast, is both a first-rate economist and someone willing to challenge conventional views; he’s someone who could look at the cautious, conventional advice of committees, see its weak points, and go for real solutions instead.
I don’t agree with everything he did in his last tenure at the IMF — but he’s been an amazing head of the Bank of Israel, pursuing highly unorthodox policies when necessary, with huge success.
Anyway, that’s my two shekels worth.
In my case penny’s worth.