There exist today countries that are connected by fear of the future. Yet they are hopeful that past transgressions and poor decisions will not destroy the struggles of generations. At the threshold of forever change stands two female warriors. They stand with no outward show of defensive armor to identify their battle readiness. It’s lifetimes of achievement that have distinguished their paths to this moment. This is an instant in time where decisions must be made that will alter fiscal and monetary policies. The outcomes will determine the futures of sovereigns. Frenchwoman Christine Lagarde and German female leader Angela Merkel are influencing the decisions that will change the course of global governments and financial policies. Both have step into the center of a crucial apex in history.
It was in July of 1807 that the French German war began. Women were not commonly thought of as world leaders. There was no International Monetary Fund to set and institute monetary policies or bailout programs. It was 137 years later that the IMF came to be in July 1944. Its 187 members welcomed the first female Managing Director in July 2010. Her name is Christine Lagarde. Acting in accordance to its tenets, to “foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable growth, and reduce poverty”, it fell to the willowy silver haired beauty to arbitrate balance among the affected nations.
A proponent of Adam Smith’s reasoning on what dictates a balanced economy, Christine Lagarde’s brand of economic leadership is uniquely suited. She enters the global arena where the success of a balanced economy hinges on the outcome of repairing or perhaps recreating a weak fiscal and liquidity poor Europe. Her skills as arbitrator come as a result of being a practicing lawyer and chief economist within Nicholas Sarkozy’s French government. This exemplifies her uniqueness to the role as Managing Director for the IMF.
Demonstrating her newly forged metal when confronted with the Greek crisis and a spiraling Eurozone economy, Lagarde use her power in the IMF to alter normal monetary policy. With the heart of a warrior she created the first truly aggressive monetary bailout plan under the IMF. Though igniting a Washington firestorm of opposition, she recognizes the importance of the immediate infusion of cash into the euro market. This uncompromising action was important to offering a temporary salve to a “liquidity trapped” Eurozone. The Eurozone crises have created a scenario where the monetary warrior fights at the side of the fiscal warrior. Enter fiscal policy genius Angela Merkel armed with the dictates of maintaining a moral hazard.
Angela Merkel’s beginnings encompass the fiscal politics of both East and West Germany. Many of her governing concepts originated from her early childhood in a politically split post-World War II Germany. In November 2005 Angela Merkel became the first female Chancellor of Germany. She came to power during a time of reformation and upheaval. Merkel’s successful achievements arose as an agent of change within her country’s social security and labor reconstructs. Until the awakening of the Greek crises and the faltering Euro, Germany was experiencing a gradual yet anemic raise in its GDP, which was fueled in part by fiscal decisions made under her leadership.
She honed those leadership skills under the tutor ledge of former German Chancellor and political conservative Helmut Kohl. She is his protégé and embraces much of the concepts that drove Helmut Kohl’s regime in rebuilding the country. Helmut Kohl was a German reunification giant and much of what Angela Merkel brings to the Eurozone table comprises those governmental ideologies of fiscal planning. As President of the European Council and Chairwoman for the G8, she demonstrated a brave heart when choosing to lead the conservative male dominated CDU or The Christian Democratic Union of Germany. As a supreme negotiator Merkel’s political expertise brings its own brand of qualifications to the battle of saving Europe.
The daughter of a Protestant minister, she and Christine Lagarde’s history is divergent. Yet both women believe that continued and growing commerce relationships with the United States is an important component to economic recovery. And both are completely committed to maintaining a unified Europe. Chancellor Merkel’s politics are to the center right of Managing Director Lagarde. Yet they meet privately before presenting resolutions to the Eurozone crises at the EU summit on January 30th.
Sometimes our female champions or superheroes don’t wear breast plates, capes and tights. No testosterone filled words of brinkmanship will pass their lips to linger in the air between them. They must lead a multinational coalition in achieving the answers necessary to attain global economic health.
How Will Economic Warriors Christine Lagarde and Angela Merkel Shape the Future of Women?
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