After rushing over $110 billion to help 86 countries through the COVID-19 pandemic, she is spearheading the International Monetary Fund’s planned $650 billion allocation of special drawing rights to bolster the reserves of all its member countries and underpin the global recovery. From rising inflation to staggering debt, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva joins Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to discuss the financial challenges ahead and how the IMF is working to reignite the global economy.

Highlights

But Kristalina Georgieva is concerned major economies are not moving fast enough. “If we want to come on the other side of the pandemic faster for the benefit of everyone, we do need to concentrate on accelerating vaccinations everywhere… As economists, we look at it from cost-benefit balance. And it is so very obvious that $50 billion might be a lot of money but it is dwarfed by the benefit for the world economy. We assess the benefit for the world between now and 2025 of accelerating vaccinations to be $9 trillion dollars… Rich countries benefit tremendously… So you can imagine […] a group of economists scratching our heads on ‘How come we are not more aggressively pursuing this investment that in our view is the best public investment with the highest return we are going to see in our lifetimes?’ And we are massively concerned that speed has not been sufficiently high so far.” (Washington Post Live)
Georgieva was more concerned with risks that might arise in the short-term future. “For this year, we don’t see a significant move in interest rates. Actually, we are confident that the measures that are taken to stimulate the U.S. economy on balance are translating into good news for other countries because of the spillover impact of demand from the U.S. economy. Where we are more concerned is when we look into ’22, ’23 and down, would it be a situation in which that danger of countries not stepping up fast enough translates into risks.” (Washington Post Live)
The managing director of the IMF said more cooperation between the two countries could help with current significant global challenges. “It is positive to have more cooperation globally… In front of us are very significant global challenges. Having more discussions around the challenges the world faces, finding common ground to address these challenges, from the perspective of the world economy is beneficial. (Washington Post Live)
Kristalina Georgieva said Fed chair Jerome Powell’s commitment to communication has helped the IMF understand what will likely become Fed policy. “When we look at the longer-term assessment of where inflation is likely to be in the United States, at this point, we do not see a major reason to be concerned. This being said, of course we are watchful. We are very grateful to Chair Powell for his clarity of communication and for his commitment to communicate well in advance based on data what is likely to be the policy of the Fed.” (Washington Post Live)

Kristalina Georgieva

Provided by the International Monetary Fund.

Kristalina Georgieva currently serves as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, a position she was selected for on September 25, 2019 and has served as since October 1, 2019.

Before joining the Fund, Ms. Georgieva was CEO of the World Bank from January 2017 to September 2019, during which time she also served as Interim President of the World Bank Group for three months.

Previously, Ms. Georgieva helped shape the agenda of the European Union while serving as European Commission Vice President for Budget and Human Resources. In this capacity she oversaw the EU’s €161 billion (US $175bn) budget and 33,000 staff, as well as the EU’s response to the Euro Area debt crisis and the 2015 refugee crisis. Before that, she was Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, managing one of the world’s largest humanitarian aid budgets.

Ms. Georgieva began her career in public service at the World Bank as an environmental economist in 1993. After serving for 17 years, and in many senior positions, including Director for Sustainable Development, Director for the Russian Federation, Director for Environment, and Director for Environment and Social Development for the East Asia and Pacific Region, her career culminated in her appointment as Vice President and Corporate Secretary in 2008. In this role, she served as the interlocutor between the World Bank Group’s senior management, its Board of Directors, and its shareholder countries.

Ms. Georgieva serves on many international panels including as co-Chair of the Global Commission on Adaptation, and as co-chair of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing. She has authored and co-authored over 100 publications on environmental and economic policy, including textbooks on macro- and microeconomics.

Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1953, Ms. Georgieva holds a Ph.D in Economic Science and a M.A. in Political Economy and Sociology from the University of National and World Economy, Sofia, where she was an Associate Professor between 1977 and 1993. During her academic career, she was visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In 2010, she was named “European of the Year” and “Commissioner of the Year” by European Voice in recognition for her leadership in the EU’s response to humanitarian crises. In October 2020, she received the Atlantic Council’s Distinguished International Leadership Award in acknowledgement of exceptional and distinctive contributions during her career of public service.