Tuesday, November 29, 2011

She is the first woman ever to be The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. She is the most powerful woman in the world. She is Christine Lagarde who speaks fluent French and English. With the world’s finances in a mess she is the one woman that has emerged as the most influential person who can prevent financial doom on earth. We live in a global society so what happens in one country can happen in other countries.
I reported in the past about the first transvestite super model, the first lesbian country western singer and the first openly gay couple adopting children on network TV but this first surpasses all the other firsts because women are usually the forces of reason in our lives and finally the first woman is in charge of overseeing the global wealth of the earth.
With the world’s economy on the brink of disaster, this woman has emerged as the central player in the battle to prevent disaster. Christine Lagarde is an accomplished lawyer who became the first female Finance Minister of France. She is now the first woman to run the International Monetary Fund. She took over the IMF in July after Dominique Strauss Kahn was forced to resign due to his sexual scandals. She is a noticeable elegant woman who at six feet tall towers over most men in France.
With her striking silver hair, she is as respectable looking as her reputation. She will need all the attributes she can get in order to keep countries in overwhelming debt like Greece and Italy from failing due to their financial disasters. Each week lately seems to be just another turbulent week for world markets.
Christine worries that the world is facing stalled growth, high unemployment, potential social unrest from the people as a result and financial markets in disarray. It all sounds too familiar and too close to home. What could be worse? And with all these world problems in front of him, how could Strauss Kahn find time for such a diverse sex life?
We are involved in a continuum of the crisis in 2008. Christine want to be desperately optimistic that things will get better. The United States’ biggest problem is the political bickering. She hopes that both the Republicans and Democrats could come to terms about the deficit and our debt. There is a degree of uncertainty where markets need certainty.
Trying to save the world’s economy keeps her busy. At the G20 Summit earlier this month she helped persuade the dysfunction Italian government to accept IMF monitoring of its finances. She will lend a country money but has strict conditions that steps will be taken to fix your financial problems.
The IMF has 187 member countries and is based in Washington D.C. It sits on a fund of $184 Billion Dollars. That is not nearly enough to meet all the potential needs of all the countries in Europe facing financial disaster. The United States is the IMF’s largest contributor. But now we are reluctant to contribute any more money to bail out Europe. However, China and Russia that are also member countries that have plenty of cash, have indicated that they may be willing to help. Letting Europe down will have major consequences on many other economies. 20% of U.S. exports go to Europe. There is a strong linkage between U.S. Banks and European Banks. There are plenty of Europeans being employed by U.S. companies.
Before her employment, the IMF had a reputation of being a boys club. What matters to her is that she would not be the last woman more than that she is the first woman there.
She had a good childhood until her father died when she was 16. He died of Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Her Mother was a strong woman that raised 4 children alone. Christine draws strength from her mother. When Christine applied for her first job with a Paris Law Firm, she was told don’t expect a partnership at this firm because you are a woman! She packed up and said she won’t work for them in any position.
Her self confidence quickly landed her a job in the Paris offices of Baker & McKenzie one of the largest law firms in the world. 14 years later she moved to Chicago to become its first female chairman. A French woman at age 43 was running a major American Law Firm. Then at the top of her profession, France came calling and she took a significant pay cut and took a job for her government.
Eventually, she became France’s first woman to serve as its Finance Minister in 2007 for Prime Minister Sarkozy. She is frustrated that the banks give themselves large pieces of the companies profits. She values her boyfriend and her child more than anything. The buzz is that France wants her to run and win the next Presidential Election in France. For now she has this job for 5 years. Good luck Christine and save the world from financial doom.

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