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Who You Got on Next IMF Head?

Two Jews, including Israeli central banker, are in the running

Marc Tracy
May 20, 2011
Stanley Fischer last year.(Daniel Bar-On/AFP/Getty Images)
Stanley Fischer last year.(Daniel Bar-On/AFP/Getty Images)

An indicted Dominique Strauss-Kahn will soon leave jail for a Manhattan apartment (on $1 million bond). But as for the International Monetary Fund, from which he resigned as head, the question becomes: Who will replace him? And the second question is: Care to make it interesting?

That’s right: If you’re the type, you can bet on who will succeed DSK as head of the IMF. The favorite, according to British book William Hill, is French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde at an imposing 3:2 odds (even the Times has called her the favorite; it’s telling that she opened at 20:1, and then a flood of wagers on her came in).

But there are two candidates whom Tablet Magazine is pulling for, for reasons that should be obvious. One is John Lipsky, who, as the deputy managing director for the past several years and now, since DSK’s, er, inaccessibility, the acting managing director, you would think would be the favorite, but is actually set at 10:1. And finally, there is Stanley Fischer, the Bank of Israel governor. Fischer is a distant 16:1 odds, which—it seems to me—might be a little high given that the MIT-educated economist has actually done several years as the IMF’s first deputy managing director. I mean, you’re telling me you get 16 times what you bet if he hits it? It’s a lock!

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.