Oct 27, 2019

IMF chief applauds "bravery" of Trump tax cuts

Kristalina Georgieva, the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund, applauded the Trump administration's "bravery to use a tax reform to spur more growth" in an exclusive interview with "Axios on HBO."

Why it matters: Georgieva vowed that she would be able to persuade the U.S. to commit more money to the fund during the course of her five-year term. "I will get my quota increase," she said — in the face of reported U.S. opposition and a U.S. veto over any changes.

Georgieva comes to the IMF from the World Bank, where she was CEO and where she was a key part of the team that received a major capital increase from the U.S. The main Trump administration official in charge of those negotiations was David Malpass, who was then at Treasury and who now runs the World Bank. Georgieva describes him as a friend.

Between the lines: Georgieva has a picture hanging in her office that she acquired in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in the mid-1990s. It shows two men arguing over chickens, and she says it reminded her of the way that World Bank and IMF economists would argue with each other.

  • Georgieva says that now that she has moved from the World Bank to the IMF, she is bringing the two institutions closer together.
  • "The IMF has learned that if you do adjustment and you don't pay attention to the social costs of adjustment — if you don't have measures in place to make it easier for the most vulnerable people — then there could be a backlash," she says.
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