Up in the Swiss Alps at the famous January confab for global leaders, The World Economic Forum, love struck between the married IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, 59, and his then-subordinate, the also married Piroska Nagy.
The one-night-only affair, however, is not new news, at least not to the French. Not only have they known about it for weeks but the French media already have a nickname for Strauss-Kahn: “un grand seducteur.” What is new is that it’s getting released/promoted to the US audience. It was reported in the WSJ on Saturday that the IMF hired Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius to investigate any potential impropriety and conflicts of interest associated with the affair. The results will come out later this month.
The French, particularly Sarkozy, are none too pleased about the publicity because they were fired up to emerge as the key player in this fixing of the financial world. DSK, as Strauss-Kahn is known, used to be France’s finance minister. He was apointed last year by the European Union to head up the IMF.
TImes Online (UK): Paris had been hoping that no news would break until Mr Strauss-Kahn had been cleared later this month and the matter would disappear in the din of the US presidential election.
Oh well, France…
Allies of Mr Strauss-Kahn and some commentators dismissed the affair as another episode of hysteria by puritanical American institutions. Jean-Francois Cope, parliamentary leader for Mr Sarkozy’s UMP party, said that DSK’s private life was none of anyone’s business. “It’s organised sabotage,” he said, adding his voice to the theory that the case had been leaked to damage France.
However the consensus among the Government and media held that Mr Strauss-Kahn had been foolish to risk breaching the strict rules of conduct in international organisations, especially those based in the United States.
“The affair may well be ridiculous compared with the destiny of the world but it touches the heart of the culture of the American government and the IMF,” said Claude Askolovitch, Editor of the Journal du Dimanche. “It is less about sexual puritanism.. than a deep horror of lies and conflict of interest. The absolute sin is not fornication, but denial, in which private life is mixed with public behaviour.”
How is it that the world global finance leaders are all about the sex scandal, by the way? Or maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised: power and money do tend to go hand-in-hand. Just ask that handsome devil Paul Wolfowitz who resigned over the brouhaha about his employee partner’s raise and promotion, just a little over a year ago.
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