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Why IMF Shouldn't Give Lagarde Cold Shoulder

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is the clear favorite to replace Dominique Strauss-Khan as the next boss of the International Monetary Fund.

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is considered the top contender to replace Strauss-Kahn as IMF chief.
Yoshikazu Tsuno | AFP | Getty Images
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is considered the top contender to replace Strauss-Kahn as IMF chief.

Angela Merkel and UK Finance Minister George Osborne offered their support this weekend and her current boss, Nicolas Sarkozy is probably keeping quiet for fear he could lose one of his most able ministers as he prepares to try and hold onto the French presidency in 2012.

Having met Madame Lagarde on numerous occasions and watched her deal with the toughest questions CNBC could find throughout the financial crisis, I believe she is the best candidate for the job.

With the support of the euro zone Lagarde is likely to get the job despite the claims of many in the emerging markets who believe their time to run a major multi-national institution has come.

With the euro zone crisis in full sway, these claims are likely to fall on deaf ears and the book makers agree, with Cantor making Lagarde the 2/5 on favorite.

She gets my vote for not taking life too seriously.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2008 our last show was coming to an end and CNBC had secured the first interview with Lagarde following the Societe Generale trading scandal.

She was running late and my team in London were in a complete panic, ringing me every five minutes saying is she there yet, are we going to miss the end of the show.

Lagarde was running late following a ministerial meeting and while I was stressed and attempting to get her to the camera position as quickly as possible, the Finance Minister refused to buy into my panic.

With minutes to go, I asked Madame Lagarde to follow me to the CNBC camera position and her answer was "non." The panic in my eyes made her smile when I asked why not.

“It is minus 20 degrees outside and you do not have your jacket on, how could I go outside with you under these circumstances, what would your mother think?” she replied.

Focus under pressure, self-belief that does not allow her to take life too seriously and a sense of humor.

A class act with the skills needed to lead the IMF if ever I have met one.