U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is praising French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, but stops short of endorsing her candidacy to take the helm of the International Monetary Fund.
Geithner says that Lagarde and Agustin Carstens, the head of Mexico's central bank, are both "very capable" candidates to lead the institution. The IMF loans billions of dollars to troubled countries.
Geithner also called for an open process to select the next IMF chief. The position has traditionally gone to a European, while the U.S. has picked the World Bank's president, an arrangement that developing countries have strongly criticized.
Geithner says the United States, the largest contributor to the IMF, will eventually weigh in on the selection. He says Lagarde's strength "is not that she's European" but her skills and experience.