Kristalina Georgieva

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Person.png Kristalina Georgieva   Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Sourcewatch TwitterRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(deep state operative?)
Krystalina Georgieva.jpg
BornKrystalina Ivanova Georgieva
Sofia, Bulgaria
Alma materUniversity of National and World Economy
SpouseKino Kinov
Member ofAtlantic Council/Distinguished Leadership Awards, World Economic Forum/Board of Trustees
PartyCitizens for European Development
Bilderberg World Bank

Employment.png Acting World Bank/President Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
1 February 2019 - 8 April 2019
Preceded byJim Yong Kim
Succeeded byDavid Malpass

Employment.png World Bank/CEO

In office
2 January 2017 - 1 October 2019

Kristalina Georgieva (born 13 August 1953)[1] is a Bulgarian economist, who is the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, the only nominee for the job and the first person from an emerging country to hold this office.[2].

She worked as chief executive of the World Bank from January 2017 to 1 October 2019 and served as Acting President of the World Bank from 1 February 2019 to 8 April 2019. She previously served as Vice-President of the European Commission under Jean-Claude Juncker from 2014 to 2016.[3][4][5]

World Bank

From 1993 to 2010, she served in a number of positions in the World Bank, eventually rising to become its vice president and corporate secretary in March 2008. She has also served as a member of the board of trustee[6] and associated professor in the economics department of the University of National and World Economy in Bulgaria.[7]

On 28 October 2016, the World Bank announced that Georgieva would become the first CEO of the bank starting on 2 January 2017.[8]

United Nations

On 27 September 2016, the Bulgarian government nominated Kristalina Georgieva for the post of United Nations Secretary-General.[9] Her short run secretary-general at the UN ended following a vote at the UN Security Council on 5 October, where Georgieva ranked number eight out of ten candidates.[10] In the same vote, António Guterres got the support of the Security Council for the post of UN Secretary-General.[11]

Krystalina Georgieva was named "European of the Year" in 2010[12] and "EU Commissioner of the Year"[13] as an acknowledgment of her work, in particular, her handling of the humanitarian disasters in Haiti and Pakistan.

Whales versus Trees

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Krystalina Georgieva is very keen to talk about the research one of her IMF economists is doing. Surprisingly, this is not about any of the issues that have gripped the organisation in the past 75 years: balance of payments crises or global recessions. It is about whales and the part they play in the fight against climate change:

“Whales act like giant pumps,” says Georgieva, noting that in its lifetime each of these mammals sequesters 33 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, while an average tree absorbs about 20kg a year."

Comments like this from the new managing director of the IMF have seen her getting some stick since she took over as managing director from Christine Lagarde at the start of October. With the world economy slowing and another financial crash looming, some who attended the IMF’s annual meeting in October said in private that Georgieva was spending too much time on climate change and not enough on the institution’s bread and butter: maintaining financial stability and helping countries in economic trouble.

Climate change

Krystalina Georgieva is unrepentant. The climate crisis and financial stability are linked, she says, because if left unattended, global heating will threaten financial stability:

“When people say we should be sticking to our mandate, I fully agree,” she says. “That’s exactly what we are doing.”

Asked which she sees as the bigger risk, another global crash or global heating, she replies:

“Climate change is an existential threat. It is a risk that we all have to take very seriously because from the perspective of an institution that deals with economic matters, it can push back development. We have seen that repeatedly over recent years.”

She is speaking before a meeting of COP25, the UN climate change summit in Madrid this week that will monitor progress towards meeting the carbon-reduction pledges made in Paris four years ago.

Georgieva, who was number two at the World Bank before getting the top job at the IMF, says it makes sense for her organisation to play a prominent role in the fight to prevent temperatures rising to catastrophic levels, and insists the crisis is an opportunity as well as a threat:

“In a world that’s eager for higher growth, this is an opportunity to accelerate investment in low-carbon technologies and speed up the transition to a low-carbon world.”

The industrial revolution was the start of a period that led to tremendous improvement in the people’s lives, but at a cost, she went on:

“The law of unintended consequences means it has created problems, but they are problems we can solve.”

Many environmentalists see a contradiction between the IMF’s pursuit of growth and its new mission to tackle climate change. Georgieva disagrees:

“These things are not necessarily against each other. You can have growth and it can be clean, green, sustainable and equitable.”

She says her message to the COP25 is simple:

“We all recognise the risks. Now is the time to concentrate on action.”

Georgieva says the IMF is looking at two specific areas where it thinks it has a role to play: tax and spending policy, and making the financial sector more resilient to global heating.

On the fiscal side, the fund is pushing for a carbon tax that would reflect the damage burning fossil fuels causes to the planet. This is currently levied at an average rate of $2 a tonne; the IMF thinks it should be increased to $75 a tonne by 2030.

Georgieva recognises that this might present difficulties in the current political environment, with protests against higher fuel prices in both developed and developing countries:

“A carbon tax will push up prices, and therefore you have to identify who will be vulnerable in advance – not after the tax hits. You have to give people certainty that they are not going to be negatively impacted, and that you are not going to create a poverty or inequality problem by tackling a climate problem.”

The IMF is working in three areas of financial sector reform: tougher standards so that banks and other institutions have to come clean about their exposure to climate risks; action by central banks to stress-test the financial system; and building on work by the insurance industry to put a price on climate risk:

“We need to accelerate action. We need to recognise that the impact of climate change is not just already visible, but tends to hit the world’s poorest countries and poorest people hardest.”

Countries that have actually done very little to cause the problem are the ones most affected, she says, citing the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, Yemen, the Caribbean and small states in the Pacific Ocean:

“They have done virtually nothing to create the problem and yet are the most impacted. On their own they can’t slow climate change, which is why the world needs to work collectively. The reality for those already affected is the reality for the rest of us tomorrow.”

Despite already toxic levels of pollution in China, a recent study showed that the country had installed five times as much energy capacity from coal over the past 18 months as had been mothballed by the rest of the world in the same period. Georgieva says India and China – the two biggest emerging economies – know that they need to make the transition to renewable energy.

But she has a warning for the IMF’s members:

“Countries need to recognise that we are running out of that most precious commodity – time.”[14]


Event Participated in

Bilderberg/20169 June 201612 June 2016Germany
The 2016 Bilderberg meeting took place in Dresden, Germany.
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