Entries in IMF (24)


Egypt Seeks Nearly $5 Billion in Aid from IMF

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CAIRO) -- Waning tourism and growing debt is threatening the Egyptian economy, and now the post-Mubarak government is asking the International Monetary Fund for help to the tune of nearly $5 billion.

In a meeting Wednesday with IMF chief Christine Lagarde, Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi requested a $4.8 billion loan to help jumpstart the country's economy.

Since the civil rebellion last year that eventually led to the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's foreign reserves have tumbled far below levels seen before the revolution, BBC News reports. Now, according to experts, it will take an urgent response with financial aid to steer clear of currency devaluation, reports BBC.

Egypt's predicted budget deficit for the 2012-13 fiscal year is 7.9 percent of its GDP, BBC reports.  The country has $33.8 billion in debt owed to foreign nations, while its domestic debt stands at $193 billion.

After 18 months and two stalled attempts to obtain financial help from the IMF, Prime Minister Hisham Qandil hopes to secure a loan deal by the end of this year.  Previous attempts had been delayed as Egypt's new government wrangled budget control from the military. The IMF insisted that any loan disbursement would have to have broad political support.

On Wednesday, Lagarde indicated the conditions were right for negations.

"We have perfectly competent authorities to negotiate with and we don't see any obstacle to the negotiation that will begin very shortly," she told reporters Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Though few details about the loan's projected size or terms have been made public, Qandil said after Wednesday's meeting that he is expecting a five year loan from the IMF at 1.1-percent interest and a grace period of 39 months, the BBC reports.

Still, The Wall Street Journal reports that many economists say currency devaluation is inevitable for Egypt, regardless of the loan's size or conditions. Mohsin Khan, a fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, told the Journal that the IMF will put "tremendous pressure" on the central bank to allow adjustments to the exchange rate.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


In First Public Interview, Strauss-Kahn Calls Maid Incident a 'Moral Failure'

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images(PARIS) -- In his first public interview since his May 14 arrest over sexual assault allegations, Dominique Strauss-Kahn said he was "trampled and humiliated" in the U.S. judicial system, and called his encounter with a hotel maid "a moral failure."

Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund and a once -- and possibly future -- likely candidate for president of France, said he had not spoken publicly before the interview Sunday on France's TF1 television channel because he "wanted to speak in front of the French first."

During the 20-minute interview, Strauss-Kahn acknowledged his sexual encounter with Nofissatou Diallo, a New York hotel maid, but said the incident didn't include violence, constraint or aggression.  He repeatedly said the incident was a "moral failing" on his part, but not a crime.

"It was a moral failure.  I have regretted it every day for the last four months, and I am not done regretting it," Strauss-Kahn said.  He called his wife an "exceptional woman" who supported him from the first moment because she believed he was innocent.

He called the sexual encounter with Diallo a "failure vis-à-vis my wife, my children and my friends."

In May, Diallo accused Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her in his hotel suite.  He was arrested and charged with sexual assault and attempted rape, but charges against him were dismissed last month after prosecutors said the accuser had changed her story too many times.

Strauss-Kahn is still facing a pending civil case, which he said is "weird for the French that when the charges are dropped, a civil case can move forward, but that's American law."

He repeated the claims some others have made that Diallo had financial motivations for accusing him of assault.  With repeated references to the prosecutor's report in the case in New York, Strauss-Kahn maintained that Diallo "lied" about the nature of the encounter.

When asked about how the U.S. justice system treated him, he said he was "very scared."

"When you are in the jaws of the machine, you think it can chew you up," he said.  "I was trampled and humiliated before I could defend myself."

He also said he suffered violence and that he "lost a lot," but he acknowledged that others in the same situation could have lost more.

Of the other accusations against him by Tristane Banon, a writer who has accused him of sexual assault, Strauss-Kahn said there was no aggression or violence in that instance either, but that the case is ongoing, so he wouldn't make any further comment.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


IMF Hacking Scandal Originated in China? The FBI Thinks So

New IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde. PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- U.S. officials believe a cyberattack on the International Monetary Fund not only originated in China, but they also conclude it may be linked to the government, according to Financial Times.

Though not commenting on the record, FBI investigators linked China to the hacking within days of the scandal's discovery because of findings related to the programming code used, sources told Financial Times.

An IMF spokesman declined to comment on the FBI's suspicions, while Chinese government officials could not be reached.  

What is notable, is that recently appointed IMF head Christine Lagarde nominated former deputy governor of the Chinese central bank, Zhu Min, to a top management position within the organization, Financial Times reports.

The scandal was revealed in June when the IMF informed employees via email that a security breach had taken place on a computer within IMF's network.

The investigation continues.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Eurozone Strikes Greek Bailout Deal

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(BRUSSELS, Belgium) -- The eurozone leaders and the IMF on Thursday agreed on a second bailout worth $155 billion, debt restructuring and an expansion of the European bailout fund. Banks and other private investors will contribute an additional $53 billion to the rescue package.

According to analysts, this deal makes it likely that Greece will become the first Western-developed world country to default in more than 60 years, as all three main rating agencies are expected to determine that Greece has defaulted because bondholders will suffer losses.

The deal, which was struck at an emergency summit in Brussels Thursday, will also lighten the load for Ireland.  It will allow for a two-percent reduction in the Irish Republic's interest payment, according to BBC News.  Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny says the reduction could save Ireland 600-800 million euros a year.

Though the bailout deal will include non-government lenders Greece, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said private sector involvement would be excluded regarding Ireland and Portugal, BBC News reports.  Both countries are also receiving European aid.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


New IMF Head 'Can't Imagine' US Would Default on Debt

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- As the White House continues negotiations with congressional leaders over a budget deal, newly elected head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde says that she "can't imagine for a second" that the United States would default on its debt obligations, saying it would be "a real shock" to the global economy if no agreement is reached.

"I can't imagine for a second that the United States would default," Lagarde told ABC's This Week anchor Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview.  "But, clearly, this issue of the debt ceiling has to be resolved."

"It would be a real shock, and it would be bad news for the U.S. economy," Lagarde added on the threat of the U.S. not raising the debt ceiling. "So I would hope that there is enough bipartisan intelligence and understanding of the challenge that is ahead of the United States, but also of the rest of the world."

The IMF was created after World War II by the U.S. and its European allies to oversee the global economy and be a lender of last resort to countries in financial trouble, while also promoting global employment and growth.

Lagarde, who previously served as France's finance minister, said there could be "real nasty consequences," including rising interest rates, depressed stock markets, increased unemployment, and decreased investment if a deal is not reached by the Aug. 2 deadline facing the United States.

"It would certainly jeopardize the stability, but not just the stability of the U.S. economy, it would jeopardize the stability at large," Lagarde said. "And that's clearly against the purpose and the mission of the International Monetary Fund. So we are concerned and we are very much hoping that a compromise will be found before the deadline."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Christine Lagarde Appointed To Head IMF

MEDEF International/French Business Confederation(PARIS) -- French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has been appointed to lead the International Monetary Fund, replacing Dominique Strauss-Kahn who was ousted from the position amid accusations of sexual assault last month.

Lagarde, the first woman to hold the post, appeared to have the upper hand from the beginning -- though there was a push for someone outside the troubled Euro-zone and someone from a country outside the usual club of rich nations to succeed Strauss-Kahn.

The announcement of Lagarde's appointment comes just hours after the Obama administration announced its support for Lagarde.

“Minister Lagarde’s exceptional talent and broad experience will provide invaluable leadership for this indispensable institution at a critical time for the global economy,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a written statement.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Administration Backs Christine Lagarde to Lead IMF

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration announced Tuesday that the U.S. is throwing its support behind French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde to take over as the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), replacing Dominique Strauss-Kahn who was ousted from the position amid accusations of sexual assault last month.

“Minister Lagarde’s exceptional talent and broad experience will provide invaluable leadership for this indispensable institution at a critical time for the global economy,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a written statement.

By endorsing Lagarde, the U.S. essentially guarantees she will win the position over Mexico’s central bank governor, Agustin Carstens, who Geithner commended for “his strong and very credible candidacy.”  Lagarde would be the first woman at the helm of the lending organization.

The U.S., which has the largest vote on the IMF’s board, has been silent until now about who should replace Strauss-Kahn.  Geithner said on Tuesday that the administration was “encouraged by the broad support” that Lagarde secured from the Fund’s membership, including emerging economies.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


French Finance Minister Seeks to Head IMF

ABC News(PARIS) – French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde announced Wednesday her desire to lead the International Monetary Fund, a role that Dominique Strauss-Kahn vacated this month amid accusations that he attempted to rape a New York City hotel worker.

Lagarde had considerable European backing for the position even before she announced her candidacy. But in what would be a break with tradition, some have suggested that the IMF’s top spot should go to someone other than a European.

The 55-year-old Frenchwoman stands one considerable hurdle. Lagarde is currently being eyed by a team of prosecutors who allege that she improperly handled a case involving a French businessman and politician early in her tenure as finance minister. Judges will decide in June whether to pursue an investigation into Lagarde’s handling of the matter.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Did Former IMF Chief Solicit Other Women in New York?

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A U.S. tabloid is reporting that former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn supposedly made advances to several other women before and after his alleged sexual assault against a maid last week during his stay at a Manhattan luxury hotel.

The New York Post says that Strauss-Kahn tried to entice two workers from the Sofitel Hotel to his room and made a lewd comment to an Air France flight attendant before he was removed from the plane by police on May 14 following the reported attack on the maid.

According to the Post, the married Strauss-Kahn used the French phrase "Quel beau cul" to tell the Air France attendant he admired her posterior.

Meanwhile, the former IMF chief is also reported to have tried to separately invite the hotel receptionist and desk receptionist back to his $3,000-a-night suite for a glass of champagne.  Both women declined his advances, which they described as "blatantly inappropriate," the newspaper said.

It was sometime around noon on May 14 that prosecutors contend Strauss-Kahn attempted to rape a hotel chamber maid.  The 32-old immigrant from Guinea has supposedly given authorities a detailed account of what happened.

Strauss-Kahn, who was released last week on $1 million bail, pleaded not guilty to seven counts, including attempted rape, criminal sexual assault and unlawful imprisonment.  The most serious charges could send him to prison for a maximum of 25 years if he's convicted.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ex-IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn Released on Bail 

Richard Drew-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was discharged from jail Friday and will temporarily reside in a downtown Manhattan apartment building owned by the security company responsible for monitoring him 24 hours a day.

Strauss-Kahn, who was indicted by a grand jury on Thursday on seven counts of sexual assault against a hotel chamber maid, was released from Riker's Island into the custody of private security firm Stroz Friedberg.

Under a bail agreement approved Wednesday, Strauss-Kahn will be allowed to stay in the corporate apartments of Stroz Friedberg and will be monitored around the clock by the company. He's expected to stay in the apartment for only three to four days while the family searches for a more permanent residence in the city. As part of his bail, Strauss-Kahn is required to stay in New York.

As authorities continue to investigate just exactly what happened during Strauss-Kahn's stay at the midtown hotel, a receptionist at the establishment alleges that after Strauss-Kahn checked in on May 13, he went up to his room and then called to ask her if she would like to join him for a drink, according to a report by the Daily Beast.

The following evening Strauss-Kahn was taken into custody by authorities aboard an Air France jet at John F. Kennedy International Airport, just as the doors were closing to take off on a flight to Paris.

Judge Michael Obus approved Strauss-Kahn's release Friday after he paid $1 million bail and an additional $5 million insurance bond, surrendered his passport and other travel documents, and arranged for round-the-clock surveillance.

Obus said the former IMF chief will not be allowed to leave the Stroz Friedberg building except in medical emergencies. Once a permanent location is found he will be permitted to leave under certain circumstances, provided the prosecution is given six hours notice.

Strauss-Kahn had planned to move into a furnished luxury apartment secured by his journalist wife Anne Sinclair. By Friday afternoon, however, it was clear that Strauss-Kahn would not be permitted to move into the Bristol Palace on Manhattan's Upper East Side, raising the prospect that he might spend the weekend in jail.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio