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Should China get more IMF power?

The annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund normally gets little attention beyond economists and policy wonks. But this time all eyes were on the fate of Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, widely praised for the IMF's swift action to avoid a pandemic-fueled global depression and recently caught in the latest crossfire between the US and China.

Georgieva finally kept her job after being confirmed by the IMF board late on Monday despite strong objections from the Americans and the Japanese, the Fund's two biggest shareholders. But what was all the fuss about?

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Trouble at the IMF

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody, Ian Bremmer here, and a happy Monday to you. A Quick Take on the scandal surrounding the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and its Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva. Disclosure, full disclosure, she's someone I know very well and am very friendly with actually and have been since well before she got the IMF post. She used to be number two at the World Bank, and that is the origin of the crisis.

A "Doing Business" report, something the World Bank comes out with every year. It is used by investors to assess competitiveness of different governments around the world. And as one might imagine, there's a lot of jockeying and lobbying behind the scenes by these governments to try to show that they're doing a great job. And as a consequence, their rankings should be high.

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What to expect at the Biden-Bennett meeting at the White House

For the first time since assuming their posts, Israel's right-wing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and US President Joe Biden will meet Friday for a face-to-face meeting at the White House. (Fun fact: Joe Biden was elected to the US Senate in 1972, the year Naftali Bennett was born.)

What's on the agenda — what likely isn't — and why does this meeting matter now?

Iran, obviously. Bennett may embrace a more conciliatory tone than his predecessor Bibi Netanyahu, but when it comes to Iran policy, he too thinks that a return to the nuclear deal would be catastrophic for Israel. For the Israelis, delivering that message feels all the more pressing given that their security establishment now warns that Tehran is only two months away from being able to produce a nuclear weapon.

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Is the US forcing Brazil to go against China or not?

We don't get it: Does the US expect its allies to choose between the US and China or not?

Just a few months ago, US Secretary of State Tony Blinken promised that, although the two countries are in a deepening rivalry over trade, technology and values, Washington "won't force allies into an 'us-or-them' choice with China."

But as we noted yesterday, it seems that during a recent trip to Brasilia, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan gave the impression that if Brazil were to ban Huawei from its national 5G auctions later this year, there could be a NATO partnership in it for Brasilia.

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Will China's tech sector be held back?

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody, Ian Bremmer here, and a happy post-4th of July. Spending a couple of days in Nantucket, back to New York in relatively short order. But a Quick Take to kick off your shortened week.

And I thought I would talk a little bit about what's happening between the Chinese and the Americans on tech. In particular, I think it's quite important that the Chinese government and their regulatory authority on cyberspace, the Cyberspace Administration of China, the CAC, has been focusing a cybersecurity probe on Chinese companies that have recently listed in the United States. It started last Friday with Didi, which is the leader for Chinese ride hailing. So it's basically like Uber or Lyft in China, $4 billion IPO in New York just a couple of days before the Chinese government announced that they were going to engage in serious scrutiny and regulation of the company. Their stock value went down like 20% almost immediately on the back of that.

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Report: China's cyber security a decade behind the US, despite hype

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Question one, a recent study suggests China's cyber capabilities are a decade behind the United States. Is China really that far behind?

Well, the IISS report assessed that China is behind in cyber security, making it relatively vulnerable. But that does not change the cyber capacity and most of all, the willingness to use its tools to gain access to information through stealthy intrusion. At the same time, China benefits from an image of having great digital and cyber capabilities and of being on the cusp of global dominance. This notion of a race between China and the US we often hear about when discussing A.I., greatly benefits those who are able to gain more investments and government support from this image. So in light of opportunistic hypes, reality checks and independent research are most helpful.

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After Iranian election, revival of nuclear deal with US is a safe bet

Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics this week:

With Iran's hardline president-elect, is reviving the nuclear deal still possible?

It's not just possible, it's probably one of the safest geopolitical bets around the world today, because not only the Iranian president-elect, but also the supreme leader, who really runs the country, all in favor of going back to the deal as it was enforced under the Obama-Biden administration. They will make more money off of that. They're not going to expand it. They're going to be limited. They don't even want to expand the timeline, never mind include other issues like support for proxies in the region, terrorist organizations, ballistic missile development, all of that. But I'd be really surprised that by the end of the year, by the end of the third quarter, we don't see the Iranians back in the Iranian nuclear deal.

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Is China too confident?

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody, Ian Bremmer here. Happy Monday. Have your Quick Take to start off the week. I want to talk a little bit about China and the backlash to China. We all know that China has been the top international focus of the Biden administration, considered to be the top national security threat, adversary, competitor of the United States. On top of the fact that there's large bipartisan agreement about that, on top of the fact that President Biden doesn't want to be seen in any way as potentially weak on China, to be vulnerable to the Republicans if he were to do so.

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