Christine Lagarde Answers Your Questions

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 6/09/2011 03:34:00 AM
OK, let me get this out of the way: I hold French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde in high regard, but chafe at the notion of her becoming the next IMF managing director. Do we need another European head when international financial institutions are striving to be in touch with the times when the world's economic centre of gravity is heading eastward? Also, do we need another French person heading another global or regional governance body when we already have WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, Jean-Claude Trichet at the ECB, and a recently departed Dominique Strauss-Kahn? While the French are skilled diplomats, of that there's no doubt, it's way too much already.

Anyway, while reading a new WSJ article about her attempting to garner support in China and India--both remain noncommittal at present but surely would be even less likely to back Mexico's Agustin Carstens (the IPE Zone pick)--I read that she is quite handy with social media (or maybe her assistant[s] are). Given that many of my incoming links now come from Twitter and Facebook than from other blogs, I am not particularly surprised. Indeed, her skilled use of social media is now being touted as no small advantage. For the curious, she is soliciting questions today from the likes of you and me regarding her IMF bid:
Ms. Lagarde will also take questions on Twitter and Facebook on Thursday as she seeks every possible outlet to bolster her campaign. Readers of her Twitter feed and fans on Facebook can send in questions before the session officially begins at 1 p.m. ET Thursday. "An hour is not a long time!" her Facebook page says, adding she personally will answer the questions.

Ms. Lagarde has tweeted around 70 times to her burgeoning band of followers during her tour of emerging economies. "India seems willing to consider my candidacy," she tweeted Wednesday, despite no clear official backing from India's government after meetings with Ms. Lagarde in New Delhi. The meeting with India's Prime Minister and Finance Minister, who invited Ms. Lagarde to lunch, was "very friendly," she tweeted.

On Friday, Ms. Lagarde will meet African officials during an African Development Bank Conference in Portugal, before travelling to Saudi Arabia and Egypt on the weekend. Her choice of Twitter to keep up links to the rest of the world as she travels may turn out to be a savvy one.
At any rate, do visit her Twitter and Facebook accounts even if you don't raise questions. In addition to being a globetrotter pressing the flesh, the opponent is a cunning new media operator!