May 25, 2011

Choosing based on merits defined by the group is often another source of dangerous group-think.

Sir I could not agree more with the arguments presented by Martin Wolf when he writes that “Europe should not control the IMF” May 25, summing it all up in the phrase “The person chosen [as managing director of the IMF] should be willing to take the risks of leading… though, of course, that risk-taking leader could be a European.

The recent Independent Evaluation Officer’s report on the “IMF Performance in the Run-Up to the Financial and Economic Crisis” comes to the conclusion that “The IMF’s ability to correctly identify the mounting risks was hindered by a high degree of group-think”.

This would indicate that the willingness to accept and push for diversity in thinking is one of the most important qualities we need to look for in the next managing director of the IMF.

That said, and fully agreeing with the managing director being chosen by the members based on merit, let us not forget that choosing based on the merits defined by the group, could turn out to be just the mother of all sources of group-think.