U.S. Formally Backs Lagarde for IMF Chief

The United States supports French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde to take over as the new chief of the International Monetary Fund, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a statement on Tuesday.

The U.S. endorsement virtually seals a win for Lagarde over Mexico's central bank governor, Agustin Carstens, whom Geithner commended for having put up a "strong and credible candidacy."

Geithner said Lagarde's "exceptional talent and broad experience will provide invaluable leadership for this indispensable institution at a critical time for the global economy."