Lady Gaga for IMF boss: Wael Ghonim for ECB?
So IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn has resigned, meanwhile ECB boss Jean Claude Trichet has merely walked out of a meeting with the man who runs the Euro group (says the FT).
Trichet and his fellow ECB board member Jurgen Starck are currently holding a hard line against EU politicians who want to begin the process of letting Greece default on its debts; meanwhile back in the IMF, a process that makes the Pope's election look transparent has begun to "select" a new leader.
Is there a pattern emerging here?
If there is it concerns the relationship between elected politicians, sovereign governments and the plutocrats they select to run organisations that are supposed to enforce transnational agreements.
Traditionally the IMF was run by a bureaucrat - not exactly faceless but somebody with an impeccable record inside, say the French civil service. In the ECB there is no such thing as "traditionally" because it's only been going since 1998; its leadership was carved up between France and Germany: Wim Duisenberg, its first boss, gave way to Mr Trichet (once Trichet had been cleared of fraud charges) in 2003.
Last week it was carved up again when most EU states agreed Mario Draghi should be the next boss.
What's changing is the overt politicisation of the roles. Clearly, just doing some amateur sociology, you would have to conclude the gene pool from which such posts are recruited is not large. You have to be an older man with a long history of backroom dealings with politicians.
While technically I have as much chance as Gordon Brown as becoming the next leader of the IMF, in practice, almost nobody in the world has a fair chance of competing for these vital jobs.
They are carved up from within the elite circle of people who go to Davos, Bilderberg, the Group of Thirty and all the other places where rugged men with earpieces and bulging jackets separate the elite from the demos.
But since these transnational institutions were invented something has changed: the world is no longer dominated by the United States economically; Europe is no longer the fiefdom of Germany, and no longer confident of the basis on which the single currency was founded.
Both the IMF and ECB need people in charge who can square vested interests; do deals; wield the machinery of public and private power. Having chosen a forthright and idiosyncratic social democrat as the first overtly political head of the IMF, the two front runners now seem to be forthright and idiosyncratic politicians again: Christine Lagarde and Gordon Brown.
The IMF and ECB are, right now, locked together around a single, pivotal problem: Greece.
Greece was given a bailout that demanded austerity; it enacted austerity and plunged into recession; there is protest - and more importantly civil disobedience. The markets believe Greece will be forced to restructure its debts - ie not pay them all back.
This could amount to 50% of what they owe. EU politicians are divided over what to do: Mme Lagarde wants to allow Greece to do a "soft restructure" - ie delay payback - in return for a massive round of privatisation; Germany wants to delay the crunch until 2013 and then impose losses on the banks that lent Greece the money.
But the ECB is having none of it. After Trichet's walk-out from his meeting with Herr Juncker, the head of the Eurogroup of political leaders, ECB negotiators have adopted "Non, nein, ochi" approach to Greek requests for restructuring. They have good reason to do this because the constitution they are guardians of forbids it. But the constitution is, in reality in tatters.
On the other side of the table sits the IMF. Under DSK it accumulated more than enough money to deal with the Eurozone crisis; it has already saved Eastern Europe by imposing flexible terms for bailouts; until DSK's involuntary trip to a Harlem police station he had been engaged in trying to soften the EU's stance, in order to avoid a fracturing of the Eurozone and of social order in Greece.
The tricky problem for democracy here is: none of these men is actually elected - they are selected by those nations who wield real power in the world. However those nations do have leaders who are elected, and they are elected in order to promote the interests of the country they come from - not somebody else's.
So while figures such as DSK or Trichet may look like distant mandarins, otherworldly and at the same time possessing knowledge of where every economic skeleton in the world is buried - actually they are the best means we have of allowing nations to mediate between their interests. They are both wielders of, and the products of, hard power.
Oxfam and other NGOs are already calling for the IMF process to be an election by open voting (albeit within the rigged voting system of the IMF); and for nominations to be open.
However, the problems with these posts go beyond the election process.
Because if you were to make a list of all the potential candidates for the ECB job, and all the potential candidates to replace Strauss-Kahn, it's not just the "old male white guy" problem that is obvious - it's the fact that they were all formed in a previous economic epoch: the dirt that hit the fan in 2008 accumulated "on their watch"; the democratic revolutions that broke out in 2010 were a challenge to their worldview, and they had done little or nothing to promote them.
Meanwhile, the world is moving on: a new generation of businesspeople, thinkers, workers is rising with very different mindsets, priorities: in politics, the extremes are becoming stronger.
The interchangeable centre-left/centre-right technocrats barely interface with such people as Timo Soini or Sarah Palin, and regard them privately with disdain; ditto with the generation of youth that - so far leaderless - has embraced activism, eco-warriordom, democratic revolution in the Middle East etc.
While we all start obsessing about which old geezer will replace DSK, and track the rumours spilling out of the ECB's clash with Ecofin over Greece, it's worth wondering - even if only in the last paragraph of a blog post - whether somebody like Lady Gaga, or Ellen MacArthur, or Egyptian Google icon Wael Ghonim, or Chinese blogging superstar Han Han might do the job just as well.
But this is, of course, unthinkable: could such a job be trusted to such mercurial and untested people? Just think what trouble they might get themselves into!