IMF board clears chief of allegations she manipulated data to placate China
The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) executive board has cleared its managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, of allegations that she manipulated data to placate China.
In a statement on Monday, the board said that a review of the allegations did not “conclusively demonstrate” that Georgieva played an “improper role” in creating the World Bank’s Doing Business 2018 report when she was CEO of the bank.
“Having looked at all the evidence presented, the Executive Board reaffirms its full confidence in the Managing Director’s leadership and ability to continue to effectively carry out her duties,” the board said.
A report from the law firm WilmerHale released in September accuses Georgieva of putting pressure on World Bank’s staff to adjust China’s ranking in the Doing Business report.
Georgieva later released a statement saying she disagrees “fundamentally” with the report’s findings regarding her role in the 2018 report.
The Doing Business report, which evaluates tax burdens and bureaucratic obstacles, is used by countries that attract foreign investment, The Associated Press notes.
In its statement, the board said it met on Monday to conclude the review of the 2018 report, noting that it was the eighth time the board met on the matter. The committee also said it has two “extensive discussions” with Georgieva and Wilmer Hale.
The board also noted that the World Bank’s investigation of potential staff misconduct in the Doing Business report is ongoing.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke on Monday with Georgieva to discuss the WilmerHale report, according to a readout from the Treasury Department.
Yellen “emphasized that the report raised legitimate issues and concerns,” the readout stated, adding that the agency would “monitor follow-up closely” and “evaluate any new facts or findings.”
The United States is the dominant shareholder in the IMF, holding 16.5 percent of the votes. Bloomberg reported last week that the Treasury Department was weighing whether to request Georgieva step down over the scandal.
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