On Thursday morning, Christine Lagarde, the current Managing Director of the IMF spoke at the Jack Morton Auditorium to GW students and news outlets before the start of the annual IMF meetings, which are being hosted on GW’s campus.
Lagarde was asked to speak at GW earlier this year in June, when several campus student organizations, including IAS, Delta Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority, Sigma Iota Rho, Strategic Crisis Simulation, Women in International Security, GW Student Association, GW Professionals in European, Eurasian, and Russian Studies, the Finance and Investment Club, and the International Business Society wrote her a letter inviting her to campus.
“As students of the George Washington University, we’re honored to have the opportunity to participate in the IMF’s annual meeting…and I’d like to thank Madame Lagarde and the IMF for choosing to hold portions of their meeting here at the George Washington University,” said Student Association president Julia Susuni.
University President Stephen Knapp spoke about the large number of GW alums that work at the IMF.
“[GW] has more than fifty alumni currently working at the IMF, and they include Dr. Jianhai Lin, who is a 1986 graduate of our School of Business, and the Secretary of the IMF,” Knapp noted.
During her hour-long speech, Lagarde spoke extensively on the global economy in the aftermath of the recession, and how the world “avoided a second Great Depression.” She focused on advanced and emerging economies around the world, and though Lagarde maintained that the “global outlook remains subdued,” she also seemed optimistic.
“Growth is looking up, financial stability is returning, and fiscal accounts are looking healthier,” she said.
Lagarde also mentioned the current US Government shutdown in relation to worldwide economics.
“The government shutdown is bad enough,” Lagarde said. “But failure to raise the debt ceiling would be far worse, and could very seriously damage not only the U.S. economy, but also the entire global economy.”
The IMF annual meetings will commence next Tuesday and end Saturday, October 12th.