Agustin Carstens, governor of Mexico’s central bank, is one of the two prime contenders for the International Monetary Fund’s top post, the other being French finance minister Christine Lagarde. He speaks to Karan Thapar on CNBC-TV18 regarding the candidature. Edited excerpts:
Why do you feel you are the right person for the job and what indication of support have you got from the Indian government? The Fund is a great institution. It plays a catalytic role in international financial markets and has an impact on the global economy. That is very attractive for any economist. It isd also the right moment in time for emerging markets to have the position of the managing director with them, as it has been held by Europeans for the past 65 years. It is important for emerging market economists to fight for this position.
Two weeks ago, our prime minister said India will support the best candidate, regardless of nationality.
What are the credentials for which you should be given this job? Good academic credentials, a very strong record in policy making, 30 years of public service. I have been finance minister of my country, I was the deputy managing director of the IMF. I know the fund from 360 degrees.
What did the Indian Finance minister say when you met him today? What assurance has he given you of India’s support? He did not give me any. All the governments I have met have reserved their judgements until they can compare the credentials of candidates.
The Indian paper, Business Standard, has reported that when Mukherjee met Christine Lagarde, he told her he would ask you to step aside and create a consensus. Did that come up in your conversation? No, not even a hint of that. He was very professional, responsible, he wanted to hear my views on what is my vision of the Fund. He discussed issues of mutual interest. It was a very professional, very straightforward discussion.