Entries in International Monetary Fund (15)


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


Dominique Strauss-Kahn Returns Home to France

Shannon Stapleton-Pool/Getty Images(PARIS) -- Former International Monetary Chief Dominique Strauss Kahn is back home in France today for the first time since a New York hotel maid accused him of sexual assault in May.

The French presidential hopeful was greeted by camera flashes upon his return to Paris.

Last month, a judge in New York threw out the sexual assault case brought against him.

The ruling came after the judge rejected a plea by Strauss-Kahn's accuser, hotel maid Naifissatou Diallo, to have the Manhattan district attorney's office replaced by a special prosecutor.

New York Criminal Court Judge Michael Obus granted a motion from prosecutors to dismiss all charges against the international power broker known simply as DSK, ending a highly publicized prosecution without answering the question of what really happened between Strauss-Kahn and the maid assigned to clean his hotel suite.

"I see no basis to deny that application" to dismiss the charges, Obus said. An appellate court upheld the decision.

"These past two and a half months have been a nightmare for me and my family," Strauss-Kahn said outside his Manhattan apartment after the ruling. "I am most deeply grateful to my wife and family who have gone through this ordeal with me."

What was once viewed as a "strong" case based on an "unwavering" accuser fell apart amid "substantial" questions about the maid's credibility.

Assistant District Attorneys Joan Illuzzi-Orbon and Artie McConnell said the accuser "provided shifting and inconsistent versions of the events" and therefore they can't be sure "of what actually happened" "We were no longer able to credit her version beyond a reasonable doubt" Illuzzi-Orbon said in court.

"We respectfully request that the court dismiss the indictment," she said.

During the investigation into the incident, prosecutors say, Diallo presented three different versions of the alleged assault and lied under oath.

Her credibility "cannot withstand the most basic evaluation," prosecutors said in the motion.

"Joan Illuzzi basically told Ms. Diallo that they were dismissing the case, claiming because she lied to them," Diallo's attorney, Kenneth Thompson said. "They totally disrespected Ms. Diallo by walking out on her while she was trying to ask them a question."

Strauss-Kahn had long maintained he was innocent of the charges.

"We have maintained from the beginning of this case that our client is innocent," Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, William W. Taylor and Benjamin Brafman, said in a statement. "We also maintained that there were many reasons to believe that Mr. Strauss-Kahn's accuser was not credible. Mr. Strauss-Kahn and his family are grateful that the district attorney's office took our concerns seriously and concluded on its own that this case cannot proceed further."

Thompson accused Vance's office of treating his client "abusively." He said the office failed to refute a New York Post article that called Diallo a hooker.

Thompson also claimed the DA's office was predisposed to dismissing a case it once called "strong."

Strauss-Kahn was a favorite to win next year's presidential elections in France before his arrest. Now polls show four out of five people don't won't him to run. He faces an investigation into allegations of attempted rape in France.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Congratulates, Talks Business with New IMF Head

ABC/Martin H. Simon(WASHINGTON) -- In addition to various phone calls Friday regarding the East Coast's preparedness ahead of Hurricane Irene, President Obama also called Christine Lagarde, the new head of the International Monetary Fund, to offer his congratulations and talk world economics.

Here's a readout of the president's call with Lagarde, provided by the White House.

The President spoke to International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde today to discuss the global economic situation and recent developments in financial markets.  As this was their first conversation since her appointment as Managing Director on June 28, the President congratulated Madame Lagarde on her new role and reinforced the importance of close cooperation between the United States and the IMF.  The President and the Managing Director agreed on the need for policies that foster growth and job creation in the near term, while securing medium-term fiscal consolidation.  They also concurred on the importance of rebalancing global demand towards emerging markets.

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


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 Lawyer Looking for Other Dominique Strauss-Kahn Victims

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images(PARIS) -- A respected French lawyer confirms to ABC News that he is looking for other potential victims of Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the request of the hotel maid who accused him of attempted rape.

The 62-year-old former head of the International Monetary Fund remains under house arrest in New York.

Prosecutors have said there are other instances of sexual assault in Strauss-Kahn's past but they have not responded to a defense request to disclose whether they plan to bring that up at trial.

Strauss-Kahn has pleaded not guilty and is facing 25 years in prison if convicted.

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


Strauss-Kahn Set to Leave Prison, Collect Hefty Severance Payout

Jim Spellman/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- As Dominique Strauss-Kahn prepares for release from jail on highly conditional bail after being indicted by a grand jury on rape charges, the former IMF chief will reportedly get an exit package including an annual pension of more than $318,000.

After appearing in court Thursday, a judge granted him a $1 million bail, an additional $5 million insurance bond and house arrest in New York City, as well as 24-hour monitoring.

Strauss-Kahn's time under house arrest will be at Bristol Plaza on Manhattan's Upper East Side.  The luxurious building specializes in corporate rentals of as much as $14,000 a month for a two-bedroom apartment.

In court Thursday, Strauss-Kahn blew kisses to his family in a rare light moment after a few very heavy days for the renowned economist.  The judge accepted the argument that he had no reason to flee the United States, and his offer to stay confined in the New York apartment rented by his wife while wearing an electronic monitoring device.

A grand jury heard testimony Wednesday from his accuser, a 32-year-old chamber maid at New York City's Sofitel Hotel, and gave the go-ahead for Strauss-Kahn to be tried for allegedly forcing the woman to submit to oral sex; he is also accused of attempted rape.  The grand jury sent down seven counts, which carry up to 25 years in prison.

Strauss-Kahn denied any wrong doing for the first time in his letter resigning as head of the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday, writing: "I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me."

With his resignation, the alleged rapist said he wanted, "…to protect this institution which I have served with honor and devotion."  It's likely he also insured hefty severance and pension payouts, assuming the IMF is standing by the contract.

According to his 2007 contract, the managing director of the IMF got a base salary and allowance totaling $496,280 when it went into effect in 2007.  With the prescribed cost of living increases in both the salary and allowance, he was making nearly $530,000 a year in annual compensation as of last July, according to ABC News' calculations.

It is common practice for executives of big organizations to get so-called "golden parachutes" when they retire or are terminated, and Strauss-Kahn's deal with the IMF is no different.  The deal gives him a "separation allowance" of 60-65 percent of his take-home pay.  That means with Wednesday's resignation letter, he is likely due $318,000 to $349,000 immediately.

The terms of the agreement do not seem to allow for the payment to be withheld for any reason, including being charged with or convicted of felony sexual assault.

The employment contract also sets up Strauss-Kahn with a lifetime of pension payments.  He was required to participate in the fund's basic staff retirement plan -- a traditional pension, which according to the IMF's website can start paying out at age 50 and with only three years of service.  Details on how much Strauss-Kahn gets under the basic plan are not publicly available.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio