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'Architect of Austerity' George Osborne aims to take IMF job

sputniknews.com | Updated: 2019-07-06 13:36

File photo of George Osborne

Former UK chancellor of the Exchequers George Osborne is mulling switching jobs for a vacancy at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Financial Times reported.

The former UK politician also works as an adviser to Blackrock, the largest investment firm worldwide, as well as an adviser to Juventus owner Exor, Northern Powerhouse Partnership chair, among others. He is also a member of the US think tank, McCain Institute, and an honorary professor at the University of Manchester.

But the contender has been criticized as the "architect of austerity" in the UK and the IMF is seen as an advocate for public spending cuts and privatization of public services in exchange for loans.

Is Mr Osborne the Man for the Job?

If successful, the former UK chancellor would be the first British head of the US-based institution, which has been traditionally held by Europeans.

But he faces strong competition from Bank of England governor Mark Carney, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, among others.

Under Prime Minister David Cameron, Mr Osborne led the UK as the Eurozone crisis unfolded in 2011. Britain’s economic recovery was blocked as a result, forcing the Cameron administration to abandon its key political platform of closing the budget deficit.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell told the Guardian that those considering appointing candidates to the IMF should note that George Osborne “was the architect of the slowest recovery from a recession since Napoleonic times”.

Others have criticized Osborne’s IMF bid, stating that his odds of winning had “dramatically tumbled overnight” to reminding him of his legacy of “helping the rich while hammering the poor”.

Board members announced on Tuesday that David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director, was appointed as interim leader for the IMF until a successor is named. Mr Osborne attended the World Economic Forum in Davos in January alongside Christine Lagarde, UN general secretary Antonio Guterres and other key members, warned of a no-deal Brexit if Commons failed to secure an alternative, adding that MPs should avoid playing 'Russian roulette' with the UK economy.

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