Bank of Israel's Fischer tipped for IMF return


The Governor of the Bank of Israel has not ruled himself out of the running to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the International Monetary Fund.

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is widely seen as the frontrunner for the role. But Israel's Stanley Fischer has also been tipped as a possibility.

Mr Fischer, 67, did not clarify whether he wanted the job, but said that he had always been told not to accept an offer that had not yet been extended. He also said he liked his current job.

Born in Zambia, Mr Fischer has already spent seven years at the IMF as its deputy managing editor, before leaving for a job at Citigroup in 2005.

A former professor at MIT, he served as the academic adviser to the US chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, when Mr Bernanke was working on his PhD.

Mr Fischer made aliyah in 2005 after being selected for the Israeli governorship.

According to the Economist, which reported that Mr Fischer was considering a run for the IMF, he "has many obvious strengths: intellectual heft, deep experience and the respect and affection of just about everyone who has worked with him".

Another of Mr Fischer's former students, Harvard academic Greg Mankiw, wrote on his blog: "Stan is a superb economist and international policymaker: smart, sensible, experienced, personable, and open-minded. He would be an ideal person to head the IMF."

Mr Strauss-Kahn, who is currently fighting charges of sexually assaulting a hotel chambermaid, resigned just days after he was arrested. The French politician had served as IMF chief since 2007.

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