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Mexico banker could be new IMF chief

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Mexico banker could be new IMF chief

  • Agustin Carstens
    World Economic Forum/FlickrAgustin Carstens

Toss your hat in the ring. The IMF is now accepting applications for its next leader.

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is the leading contender to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn, but Mexico thinks it has the "ideal candidate" for the post.

The Mexican government is supporting the country's central bank boss, Agustin Carstens.

Carstens was the IMF's deputy managing director from 2003 until 2006, when he returned to Mexico to become the finance minister. He has served as the central bank governor since January 2010.

Here's some more background on Carstens:

  • Carstens was born June 9, 1958, in Mexico City, according to his biography from the Banco de Mexico. He has a Ph.D. and M.A. in economics from the University of Chicago.
  • He has a B.A. in economics from Tecnológico Autoónomo de México, according to the IMF. He wrote his undergraduate thesis on determining the forward exchange rate in Mexico.
  • As chief economist for Mexico's central bank from 1994 to 1999, he co-wrote a paper in which he pushed for market participants to have broader access to central bank data. Under Carstens, the central bank published the minutes of policy meetings for the first time this year, according to Bloomberg
  • As finance minister, Carstens led the nation’s response to the global financial crisis. Says Bloomberg: "Mexico was the first nation to request a flexible credit line from the IMF, a mechanism to help support economies seeking strong macroeconomic policies."
  • He's a Chicago Cubs fan.

A European has lead the IMF since its inception at the end of World War II, but some countries are calling for an end to that tradition.

All candidates must be put forward by June 10. The IMF will draw up the shortlist over the following week, and make a final decision by June 30.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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