Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Belka - will the jumper jump?

Comfy, thank you very much
Hiring managers the world over look with dismay at the jumper, that individual who always seems to be leaving work for brighter pastures elsewhere. Current NBP Governor Marek Belka is something of a jumper extraordinaire, having held a million different jobs just since 2000. So, will he jump again if he gets a crack at being the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as some speculate?

Let's first look at the jumping since the 2000s. Belka began the new millennium as finance minister in the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD)-run government in 2001. He bailed in mid-2002. His next stop was a cushy stay as an adviser for JP Morgan (how he didn't go to Government Sachs beats me) until 2003. Then he was parachuted (nearly literally) into Baghdad, where he was responsible for economic policy for the ill-run Coalition Provision Authority. 

Before long his pal Aleksander Kwasniewski, the then president, coaxed him into returning to Poland in spring 2004 to take over as prime minister from the disastrous reign of Leszek Miller. Belka actually held that job for over a year, though he did jump parties from the SLD to the still-born Democratic Party (eventually Demokraci.pl).

After the 2005 elections, Belka hob-nobbed between some high profile international positions. He worked for the UN from 2006 to 2008, in 2007 losing out to Dominique Strauss-Kahn for the IMF presidency (no Dominique, it doesn't stand for I Must F**k) in 2007. But DSK plucked Belka away from the United Nations and in November 2008 he became director of the IMF's European department. Then came June 2010, when Belka took his current job as the head of the NBP.

Perhaps this history of jumping is why Belka reacted Tuesday with frustration to questions about the speculation he could be in the running to replace DSK as head of the IMF. He scoffed and said he planned to be governor for the 5 remaining years in his term.

If I don the hat of the career planner, I might advise Belka to keep his job for a few years. But come on, if I were offered to be the head of the IMF, I know I'd jump. I suppose the difference between him and the rest of us saps is we are given the choice of buying the newspaper with the video disc of Wall Street or not. Belka is offered the job of running Wall Street. I know which I'd choose.

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