With embattled Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigning from the IMF amid rape allegations a vacancy has arisen for the top spot.
The vacancy comes at a critical juncture for Europe as Greece struggles to keep afloat and the single currency faces a fight for credibility. Strong stewardship is required more than ever.
The question of who should replace Strauss-Kahn has triggered a debate over whether Europe should continue its historic leadership of the fund or pass it to someone from the emerging economies to better reflect modern economic realities.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has signalled her preference for a European appointment. A European successor carries the advantage of providing a sense of continuity. Additionally, having a European at the helm when the institution will be preoccupied with European matters makes sense.
Against this, the rapidly growing countries in Latin American and Asia will undoubtedly press their case for having more clout on the global arena as the economic balance of power shifts to these emerging economies.
But should the top job go to a European, French finance minister Christine Lagarde tops the short-lit. Lagarde won plaudits for her handling of the financial crisis and is well respected.
Counting against her, however, is the fact her political prowess could be needed in the run-up to the country's elections, due to be held in a year.
Furthermore, the IMF could seize the opportunity to break the French hegemony - a French person has been at the helm of the organisation for 26 of the last 33 years.
Should the IMF look beyond the shores of Europe, South Africa's Trevor Manuel has been touted as a possible successor to Strauss-Kahn. Serving as South Africa's finance minister from 1996-2009 he no doubt has the financial pedigree.
Elsewhere, former Brazilian Central Bank President Arminio Fraga is another possible contender. Having worked for legendary investor George Soros he, too, is no novice to the world of finance.
Turkey's former minister of economic affairs Kemal Dervis and Singapore's finance minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam are also understood to be in the frame.
But what about former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown? The bruising Scot had been tipped for the role and would surely relish being thrown back in the limelight as head of one of the most important financial institutions in the world.
But his chances of replacing Strauss-Kahn would seem to have been seriously diminished after several high profile people said his appointment would not be appropriate given his economic record when in power.
Prime Minister David Cameron last month said he might block Gordon Brown's path to the IMF top job. Brown's chances of landing the job were dealt another blow when Swedish finance minister Anders Borg recently said he did not think he would be a good appointment.
It is also understood Chancellor George Osborne has shown little enthusiasm for a Brown appointment. And business secretary Vince Cable has reportedly suggested the position should be taken by someone within the eurozone.
And perhaps now Brown has won a consolation post at the World Economic Forum to chair a new policy board he will have his hands full.
But don't write him off entirely. Although he was not a popular Prime Minister he is well respected on the world stage for his economic expertise. And despite him being at the helm at the height of the financial crisis, many credit him with rescuing the UK's banks from the abyss.
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