Wednesday, April 20, 2011


"David Cameron scotched Gordon Brown ’s chances of becoming the next managing director of the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday as he indicated that his predecessor was not up to the job, writes the FT. Although there is not yet a vacancy for the post, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the fund’s head, would need to resign in the summer if he wanted to try to become the Socialist candidate for president of France. Mr Strauss-Kahn is widely thought to have been an excellent head of the fund, bringing the organisation back from obscurity, challenging national leaders to find a solution to the financial and economic crisis and leading the international efforts last week to address the crisis and set the world on a path towards sustainable and balanced growth. His possible departure was the talk of the IMF spring meetings in Washington last week but outside British circles, Mr Brown was not generally listed among possible candidates. Instead, the debate was whether a European candidate would again secure the post or if it would go for the first time to a candidate from an emerging market economy".

Cardiff Garcia, "Cameron dismisses idea of Brown at the IMF," The Financial Times. 20 April 2011, in

Cornelius Tacitus, "Omnium consensu capax imperii, nisi imperasset," Histories, Book One, Chapter 49, on the Emperor Galb (circa 69 A.D.).

As political backstabbing goes, the UK Prime Minister's job yesterday on his predecessor must rank as one of the best and most certainly one of the most amusing on record. For years, it was known that the one position that Gordon Brown wanted in the world as much as being Prime Minister, was being head of the IMF. Now, one year after being voted out of office, Brown is now very publicly told by the man who beat him, that he is too incompetent to hold the only other position in public life that he would ever want. In a few years time, Brown has gone from being the renown 'Iron Chancellor', to being merely another unemployed, job seeker. More seriously, Cameron's dismissal is in terms of actual merit, not entirely without any basis in fact. The fact is, that Brown's performance in running the UK's economy during the years 1997-2010, was hardily one to recommend itself necessarily to running the IMF. Clearly in retrospect, the British economy was fueled to a unhealthy degree by a housing speculation bubble and by 'hot money', coming into the UK's economy via the banking system. Indeed, the expansion of the City of London's place in the British economy was by definition merely another speculative bubble akin to the housing bubble. Sans these two variables and what one notices is that the British economy was much weaker structurally speaking than what Brown was claiming to the public in his salad days as Chancellor (1997-2007). That being said, there is an element of poetic justice about the fact that almost the minute that Brown ousts his predecessor from Number Ten and becomes Prime Minister, the economy commences to crash around his ears. Hubris followed by nemesis.


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