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IMF's Christine Lagarde Found Guilty of Misusing Public Funds

Her resignation cannot come too soon.

In yet another blow to the world's great and good, a special court in France found on Monday that the current managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and former French minister of finance, Christine Lagarde, was guilty of criminal charges linked to the misuse of public funds. According to the news reports, "The case against Ms. Lagarde centered on Bernard Tapie [who] accused the lender Crédit Lyonnais, in which the French state had a stake at the time, of cheating him when it oversaw the sale of his share in the sportswear empire [Adidas] in 1993. Years of costly legal battles ensued. In 2007, Ms. Lagarde sent the dispute to a three-person private arbitration authority that awarded Mr. Tapie more than 400 million euros, or $420 million at current exchange rates, in damages and interest, to be paid by the state."

If Lagarde resigns from her IMF job, she will follow in the footsteps Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the previous IMF head and, incredibly, another former French finance minister, who resigned in 2011, after he was accused of having sexually assaulted a maid in a New York City hotel. Lagarde's resignation cannot come too soon. She was, in large part, responsible for the Greek bailout, which has, so far, failed to tackle that country's economic problems. As one observer noted, "In Greece, the IMF violated its own cardinal rule by signing off on a bailout in 2010 even though it could offer no assurance that the package would bring the country's debts under control or clear the way for recovery, and many suspected from the start that it was doomed."

As the IMF head, Lagarde all too often appeared to act as a defender of the interests of the Eurozone (i.e., preserving Greece in Europe's failing single currency area), rather than as a steward of the IMF's global shareholders. As an indication of the IMF's effectiveness in helping Greece out of its economic troubles, consider the state of the Greek economy after years of international "assistance."

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  • some guy||

    What a bush league performance. She needs to spend some time with the Clintons. Maybe get some pointers on how to pay off your cronies without getting caught.

  • ||

    Or how to get caught and have it not matter.

  • some guy||

    Does it count as being "caught" if you aren't prosecuted, convicted and sentenced? A question for the ages.

  • ||

    Yes, that's exactly right. The evidence is there, everyone has seen it, but you skate. That's the lesson that this Frenchie needs to learn.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Lagarde is a member of the French intellectual elite; they aren't used to having their conduct questioned by the peasants.

  • Libertarian||

    Resign? Why, whatever for?

    "The International Monetary Fund threw its support behind its leader, Christine Lagarde, on Monday despite her conviction in a French court on charges of misusing public funds.

    With international elites and their institutions facing populist criticism amid political and social change in the United States and Europe, the 24 directors of the fund decided that this was not the time to leave the I.M.F. rudderless."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12.....rdict.html

  • Sevo||

    "With international elites and their institutions facing populist criticism amid political and social change in the United States and Europe, the 24 directors of the fund decided that this was not the time to leave the I.M.F. rudderless."

    TDS has now been found in Europe. Quarantine is not effective against its spread.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    "With international elites and their institutions facing populist criticism amid political and social change in the United States and Europe, the 24 directors of the fund decided that this was not the time to leave the I.M.F. rudderless."

    We must have a strong force in place to oppose the will of the people!

  • ||

    He's a very handsome fellow.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    That face can't get any Frencher.

    Busy fellow, running the IMF and managing Arsenal.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    I call microaggression! I'm sure "he" isn't the pronoun he wants to be referred to!

  • Rockabilly||

  • TGoodchild||

    George Hamilton is looking rather elegant.

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