Geithner: Lagarde, Carstens 'credible' for IMF

WASHINGTON Wed May 25, 2011 9:47am EDT

WASHINGTON May 25 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Wednesday said France's Christine Lagarde and Mexico's Agustin Carstens are both "credible" candidates to lead the International Monetary Fund, adding the United States will help decide the successor to Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

"They're very talented people. Christine Lagarde is an exceptionally capable person, an excellent mix of financial, economic knowledge, talent, and the kind of political skills you need," he said in a live interview with Politico. "Agustin has that as well."

Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned as IMF chief last week after he was arrested on charges of attempting to rape a maid in a New York hotel, and many have seen French Finance Minister Lagarde as the leading contender to succeed him.

Carstens, Mexico's Finance Minister, is the first candidate from an emerging market to put his name up for selection.

The IMF has been run by a European ever since World War Two.

Geithner said the United States was working with emerging economies and Europe to make sure the fund's structure "reflects the balance of power in the world today."

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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