Here are six facts about Gita Gopinath, first woman to occupy the top IMF post, from her Indian origin to her goals and concerns about the world economy.
New Delhi: Gita Gopinath has become the first woman to occupy the top IMF post. She told The Harvard Gazette that she would like the IMF to continue to be a place that provides intellectual leadership on important policy questions. Here are some interesting facts about Gopinath.
The 46-year-old spent her formative years in Mysuru with father TV Gopinath, a farmer and entrepreneur, and homemaker mother, VC Vijayalakshmi. She has spoken about her college days as being hugely influential. An economics graduate at the Delhi School of Economics and Lady Sriram College, she had said in an interview with The Economic Times, "When I was doing my bachelors from Delhi University, India experienced its first major external financing and currency crisis in 1990-91. This inspired me to pursue graduate work in economics and was the foundation for my interest in international finance."
1) First woman to occupy the top IMF post
Gopinath has joined International Monetary Fund as its chief economist, becoming the first woman to occupy the top IMF post.The 11th chief economist of the IMF, Gopinath in a recent interview to The Harvard Gazette described her appointment at the IMF as a tremendous honour and said the appointment of the first ever woman for this position speaks highly of IMF's Managing Director Lagarde.
Gita was previously working in the John Zwaanstra professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University, Gopinath, 47, succeeds Maurice (Maury) Obstfeld as Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF's Research Department. Obstfeld retired December 31.
2) What is Gopinath to IMF
Announcing Gopinath Gopinath's appointment on October 1, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde described her as one of the world's outstanding economists with impeccable academic credentials, a proven track record of intellectual leadership and extensive international experience.
3) What is Gopinath's immediate goal
Among the research issues that Gopinath would like to push is understanding the role of dominant currencies like the dollar in international trade and finance. We could do more on the empirical side to try to understand countries' dollar exposures and on the theoretical side in terms of the implications for international spillovers, consequences of dollar shortages, etc, Gopinath said. She considers the perceived retreat from globalisation as one of the top challenges being faced by the IMF.
4) Gopinath's biggest concern
General growing uncertainty about trade policy, including the one arising out of Brexit. "While the trade has reduced global poverty and raised livelihoods, its consequences for inequality, and on whether the rules of engagement are fair, are real concerns that need to be addressed. Health of emerging markets as the US continues to normalize its interest rates is also a matter of concern, , she said.
5) Gopinath on FDI
Foreign direct investment [FDI] was always viewed very favourably by countries. But because most of the FDI is now in tech-heavy firms, there are growing concerns about national security and international property theft. So I believe this retreat from globalisation and this retreat from multilateralism is quite unique to the times we are living in, she said.
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Last Updated Jan 8, 2019, 3:43 PM IST