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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Fischer to Stand In At IMF

WASHINGTON -- Stanley Fischer is set to take over next week as temporary head of the International Monetary Fund, but some insiders, anxious to avoid the unseemly wrangling that marked the succession at other international institutions, said the job should be more long-term than that.

Fischer, who joined the IMF in 1994 as first deputy to the outgoing managing director, Michel Camdessus, should either be given the chance to complete Camdessus' unfinished five-year term, or win a full term in his own right, they said.

"The last thing people want is a protracted struggle," said one monetary source, who asked not to be identified. "Stan would be the favorite of the developing world. They know him. They've dealt with him."

Fischer, 56, played a key role in efforts to resolve the world financial crisis of 1997-99. A naturalized American, he was born in what is now Zambia.

But handing the job to Fischer on a permanent basis would be a major political defeat for the Europeans, who have led the Fund since it was founded in 1947, and who now view the leadership of the IMF as a traditional European preserve.

Germany's favorite to head the Fund is that nation's deputy finance minister, Caio Koch-Weser, who gleaned his main international experience in the poverty-focused World Bank rather than in the IMF, with its focus on finance, budgets and interest rates.

But France, possibly seeking a political quid-pro-quo in terms of promises of plum jobs for its own nationals, has so far withheld its support.

Board members from developing countries, describing themselves as the group of 11, want countries to find the best possible candidate and present more than one candidate for the influential job.