Gordon Brown’s chances of taking over as boss of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), now that DSK has resigned, got even dimmer after UK Business Secretary Vince Cable indicated that Westminster would prefer from a Euro Zone nation as the new IMF chief.
Brown, the former Labour Prime Minister, has openly lobbied for the IMF position, which is believed to pay about $500,000 per year, but has received almost no endorsement from any British political leader.
Cable said that he did not think “national champions” should be named to the IFM position, suggesting the coalition government of Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron would support a non-British candidate.
Cameron is already on record as saying he will not support Brown’s candidature.
That belief is partially predicated on the fact that the IMF is playing a prominent role in tackling the huge debt and deficit problems of Greece, Portugal and Ireland.
“The IMF is dealing with a major economic crisis in Europe. They need somebody very effective and respected,” Cable said.
“Particularly somebody who understands the internal problems of the Eurozone -- that is probably where the new head of the IMF will come from.”
Another strike against Brown’s fitness for the IMF position arise from the perception that he failed to properly steer the British economy in the decade prior to the 2008 financial crisis when he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
In a column in the Daily Telegraph, Jeremy Warner wrote of Brown: “Politically, he's a spent force with no possibility of a comeback. To support his candidature is therefore to do no more than give a failed politician a second chance.”
Warner added that: “given the contemptuous way in which Mr Brown treated the Tory opposition while in government, there's no reason why, now the Tories are in power, they would wish to be so magnanimous… The deeper criticism of Mr Brown is simply that he is not up to the job. He's neither a natural leader, nor does he obviously possess the diplomatic skills necessary to unite such a snake-pit of conflicting national interests.”
Warner suggests that Brown made many enemies in the IMF during his term as Chancellor and later Prime Minister for his rude and autocratic style and refusal to compromise.
Alternatively, in the absence of a European candidate. Cable said he would like to see “someone from the eastern Asian countries who has had a very successful record in economic management.”
The selection of someone from the developing world as IMF chief is gaining traction, even in Britain.
Lord Myners, the former Financial Services Secretary (City Minister), told the BBC: “We need to accept the new reality of the world.”