Shit will hit the fan very soon

Quote Of the day

Mark Weisbrot, a co-Director of the Center for Economic Policy Research, recently took to task the United States and the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The United States is the key member of the IMF and is thus responsible for its actions. Weisbrot criticized them because “They were trying to force the Greek parliament to adopt measures that would further shrink the Greek economy and therefore make both their economic situation and their debt problem worse, while inflicting more pain on the Greek electorate.” But it is not just the Greek economy which is in crisis. “The threat from the Troika,” Weisbrot argued, “was putting the whole European financial system at risk, since it raised the prospect of a chaotic, unilateral Greek default.”

What we are seeing here, then, is a triumph of ideology and interest over reason and solidarity.

Weisbrot drew an obvious conclusion from his analysis:

The “European debt crisis” is misnamed; it is not so much a debt crisis as a crisis of policy failure. There are always alternatives to a decade without growth, trillions of dollars of lost output, and millions of unemployed that the European authorities are offering to the people of Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Greece and now Italy. All that is lacking is the political will and competence to change course.

Quote of the day

Pam Marten’s has this to say about one insolent Frenchman:

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and aspirant to the Élysée Palace, has left a trail of DNA from Davos to Paris to Gotham (and that’s just what he’s acknowledged). But that’s

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director, Int...

DSK

not the only mess he’s left others to clean up.

Putting aside the criminal charges and allegation of attempted rape on two continents for a moment, Strauss-Kahn, or DSK as his compatriots like to call him, has singlehandedly humiliated the International Monetary Fund, the luxury Sofitel Hotel, his current wife (Anne Sinclair), his daughter (Camille), his second wife (Brigitte Guillemette), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (where he is alleged to have had sex between the file cabinets), the luxury Porsche auto brand (prior to his arrest in New York, the French Socialist Party member was tooling around Paris in a Porsche Panamera which is priced in the range of $150,000 and whose ownership was tied to a French media/armaments conglomerate, Lagardère), his fellow Caviar Socialists, the lovable entertainer Zippy the Chimp (accuser Tristane Banon called DSK a “rutting chimpanzee”). He’s accomplished for the image of powerful French politicians what Guantanamo accomplished for the image of U.S. justice: a law free zone.

Given this trail of smoldering ash, one might expect a little humility from DSK and his take-no-prisoners lawyers and advance men. But no. The whole pack is suing left and right — that’s literally the political left and the political right.

He’s just ‘girl crazy’

Having barely survived his New York difficulties, Dominique Strauss-Kahn now wants to mount a legal counterattack against a French woman, Tristane Banon, who accused him of rape in 2007 and who now plans to make a complaint for rape against the disgraced former head of the International Monetary Fund: Agent France Presse reportsthat:

He just can't help it

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn plans to sue for slander a French woman who said she will file an attempted rape complaint against him, his lawyers said in a statement Monday.

Earlier French journalist and writer Tristane Banon, 32, who once branded Strauss-Kahn a “rutting chimpanzee”, indicated she would lodge “a complaint for attempted rape” against him, her lawyer David Koubbi told the news magazine L’Express on its website.

Koubbi added he would likely send the complaint to French prosecutors on Tuesday.

But Strauss-Kahn, who resigned from his post at the IMF after being charged with sexual assault in New York, fired back at his French accuser.

His lawyers Henri Leclerc and Frederique Baulieu told AFP in a statement that Strauss-Kahn had taken note of Banon’s intentions, but dismissed her charges as “imaginary.”

They said they “were in the process of compiling a libel complaint against her.”

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was set free

In the New York Timesrecounting of the event:

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, who is accused of sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper, was released from house arrest on Friday as the case against him moved closer to dismissal after prosecutors told a Manhattan judge that the credibility of his accuser was in serious question.

A reprieve awaits Dominique Strauss-Kahn?

Events appear to be turning towards that conclusion. The New York Times now reports that:

The sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn is on the verge of collapse as investigators have uncovered major holes in the credibility of the housekeeper who charged that he attacked her in his Manhattan hotel suite in May, according to two well-placed law enforcement officials.

Although forensic tests found unambiguous evidence of a sexual encounter between Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a French politician, and the woman, prosecutors now do not believe much of what the accuser has told them about the circumstances or about herself.

Since her initial allegation on May 14, the accuser has repeatedly lied, one of the law enforcement officials said.

Senior prosecutors met with lawyers for Mr. Strauss-Kahn on Thursday and provided details about their findings, and the parties are discussing whether to dismiss the felony charges. Among the discoveries, one of the officials said, are issues involving the asylum application of the 32-year-old housekeeper, who is Guinean, and possible links to people involved in criminal activities, including drug dealing and money laundering.

It is a miserable yet possible fact that Strauss-Kahn did criminally assault this woman. But that possible fact will not matter much even if it were not merely possible but actual. An assault would not matter if the victim of the assault will never provide credible testimony that can overcome the weakness of the forensic evidence. Her initial credibility contrasted strongly with the wretched and chronic behavior of the accused, a man known for his sexual appetite and his predation. Today, both stand diminished.

The IMF will receive a woman’s touch…

Christine Lagarde, currently the Minister for Economic Affairs, Finance and Industry in President Nicolas Sarkozy‘s center-right government, will soon become the first women to lead the International Monetary Fund. Her statement on her appointment:

“The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund has just selected me to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn as Managing Director for a five-year term, starting on July 5. I am deeply honored by the trust placed in me by the Executive Board. I would like to thank the Fund’s global membership warmly for the broad-based support I have received. I would also like to express my respect and esteem for my colleague and friend, Agustín Carstens.

“The IMF has served its 187 member countries well during the global economic and financial crisis, transforming itself in many positive ways. I will make it my overriding goal that our institution continues to serve its entire membership with the same focus and the same spirit. As I have had the opportunity to say to the IMF Board during the selection process, the IMF must be relevant, responsive, effective, and legitimate, to achieve stronger and sustainable growth, macroeconomic stability, and a better future for all.”

As the person who has received the honor of replacing Dominique Strauss-Khan, Ms. Largarde has an opportunity to replenish the aura of an institution revered by everyone.

Cristine Legarde walks the red carpet