from Finance and Development

June 2019

“ID. I gotta see some ID.”

The elderly gentleman, attired elegantly in a three-piece suit and striped tie, stared back blankly. The guard gave an exaggerated sigh. “Who are you? What’s your name?”

“Keynes. John Maynard Keynes. Lord Keynes.”

“Look, buddy, I don’t care if you’re Lord of the Rings. I still need to see some ID before I let you into the building.”

A nameless bureaucrat, scurrying past, late for work, stopped dead in his tracks and whirled around. It was Keynes! He recognized the face from the bronze bust in the executive boardroom. “Excuse me,” he said, flashing his pass at the guard, “I’ll take care of this gentleman.”

“Make sure he gets a visitor pass,” the guard called after them.

They entered IMF Headquarters. “Please, Lord Keynes, won’t you have a seat, while I…”

“Weren’t you expecting me? Didn’t you receive my telegram?”

“Um…I’m afraid not. Let me call the Managing Director’s office. I’m sure they will sort it out.”

“Well, I am a bit late. American trains, you know, never punctual…” muttered Keynes, as he sat on the hard leather bench, appearing a bit dazed by the wide array of flags that adorned the lobby.

It was almost 20 minutes before the bureaucrat reappeared. “The Managing Director will be pleased to meet you now,” he announced.

“That’s most kind of him…um, what’s his name?”

“Lagarde. Christine Lagarde.”

“A lady? A French lady?”

The bureaucrat nodded.

“Oh, well, I suppose we have the No. 2 slot?”

“The First Deputy Managing Director is an American, David Lipton.”

Link to the full article in Finance and Development