The International Monetary Fund's Managing Director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, arrested as he was trying to flee New York on an Air France flight after allegedly sexually assaulting and attempting to rape a chambermaid at the Sofitel Hotel in midtown Manhattan during the afternoon of May 14, was expected to resign his position to run for president of France as a Socialist candidate. However, Strauss-Kahn's arrest and temporary replacement as IMF director by deputy IMF director American John Lipsky, a former banker with J P Morgan, has thrown the race to succeed Strauss-Kahn at the IMF wide open.
Our British sources said that former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has signaled his desire to head up the IMF, will face intense opposition from Conservative leaders in the British coalition government. Brown is known to be opposed by Prime Minister David Cameron. However, British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has reportedly told fellow Conservative Party leaders that Brown will become the next head of the IMF "over my dead body."
Brown is favored to head the IMF by international disaster capitalist George Soros and Nathaniel Rothschild, the head of JNR Limited. Brown is also close to former British Business Secretary Lord Peter Mandelson, who, according to British intelligence sources, had more than a business and political relationship with Brown. British security service files contain a statement from reputable eyewitnesses who caught coitus en flagrante delicto.
As with former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, who resigned in 2007 after allegations surfaced about his sexual relationship with a subordinate, Strauss-Kahn faced similar allegations in 2008 about his relationship with a married subordinate, Piroska Nagy, a Hungarian economist. In 2007, Strauss-Kahn also faced rape allegations from a French journalist, Tristane Banon, who claimed Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her in 2002.
Strauss-Kahn is receiving words of support from neocon political and media circles around the world. Of mixed Sephardic-Ashkenazi descent, Strauss-Kahn is an outspoken advocate for Israeli and Zionist causes. Strauss-Kahn's wife, Anne Sinclair, an American-born French Jewish TV journalist, is the grand daughter of one of France's wealthiest art dealers.
Neocon circles are suggesting that the Sofitel maid who is in satisfactory condition after being allegedly attacked by Strauss-Kahn is complicit in a conspiracy to bring down the French presidential hopeful. The 32-year old maid has worked at the Time Square Sofitel for three years and she has an unblemished work record, according to her manager. Strauss-Kahn's supporters are also claiming that the disgraced IMF head somehow enjoys diplomatic immunity from prosecution.
New York Police officials claim they have DNA evidence on Strauss-Kahn and the floor of the hotel where Strauss-Kahn's $3000 per night suite is located is said to have security camera coverage, owing to the use of the suite by visiting heads of state and government during the annual UN General Assembly summit.
As seen with Wolfowitz, on multiple occasions with Strauss-Kahn, and, according to our sources, with Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson, those who lord over the world's finances and money supply are only matched in their wealth and power by their sexual depravity...
It was a legitimate criticism of the USSR that they had a single party but the two party system of the West is not really much better, specially as both parties are nearly identical except in token cause celebres like abortion or other side issues (not that these are not important but they are not the central issue most of the time)...
By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS - Since the election of Camille Gutt of Belgium as the first managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) back in 1946, the Europeans have continued to claim that job as their political and intellectual birthright.
Successive IMF heads have come from France (which has held the post four times), Sweden (twice) and one each from Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.
The resignation on Thursday of the current IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn of France, following allegations of rape in a New York hotel room last week, has triggered speculation about another European for one of the most powerful jobs in international finance.
As things stand, one of the front-runners for the job is the current
finance minister of France, Christine Lagarde, who could well be the first woman to run the Washington-based IMF, if she is elected to succeed the departing Strauss-Kahn, who was expected to continue his term of office until 2012.
James A Paul, executive director of the New York-based Global Policy Forum, told IPS the resignation of Strauss-Kahn offers an important moment of opportunity.
"At last there is the possibility that the chief of the IMF might be drawn from somewhere other than Europe and selected in a transparent way," he said.
The international financial institutions (IFIs) have always been long the captives of the United States and Europe, with candidates chosen far from the public eye, said Paul.
"Like the [United Nations] Security Council, the IFIs reflect an outworn geopolitics and an outworn geo-economy," he said.
In the 1940s, the United States and Europe struck a "gentleman's agreement" that while the IMF managing director will necessarily be from Europe, the president of the World Bank will be a US national.
In contrast, the post of secretary-general of the United Nations has been rotating among regional groups: Europe (Norway, Sweden and Austria have held the job since 1946), Africa (Egypt and Ghana), Asia (Myanmar and South Korea) and Latin America and the Caribbean (Peru).
Paul said that several names have been put forward - promising new leadership from Turkey, South Africa, India, and elsewhere.
"Yet suddenly we are told that Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister, is the front-runner for the job," he noted.
True, it would be an important step forward to have a woman leader of the Fund - and all the more so, in light of Strauss-Kahn's abysmal record on gender equality, said Paul.
"But surely it is time to have a serious process of selection in place, a process that will give due consideration to candidates from all the world's regions, not just anoint a pre-cooked candidate in the same old way," he said.
Let the board take this process seriously and democratically, said Paul, and let women candidates get every consideration, "but let us not fall back on the old formulas of Western domination in a world that has moved on".
The Europeans who are staking the claim for the job say the IMF needs a European to resolve the spreading economic crisis in Europe.
Strauss-Kahn was involved in overseeing the US$141 billion bailout loans to Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
Chakravarthi Raghavan, a veteran journalist who has covered the United Nations both in New York and Geneva for several decades, refuses to buy that argument.
"As for the EU argument that they need one of their kind because of the spreading economic crisis in Europe, it is a valid reason for having a non-European to head the IMF, and steer the international monetary and financial system safely through this crisis," he said.
In the 1980s, he said, when restructuring and democratizing international institutions was very much on the agenda, the United States and Europe used to argue that since the developing countries are borrowers, they can't be allowed to control the bank.
"This logic applies here. No European should be allowed to head the IMF," said Raghavan, a former chief editor of the Geneva-based South-North Development Monitor and editor of Third World Economics.
In fact, the rescue packages for Europe are turning out to be efforts to protect the interests of the French and German banks, who are the major creditors, as bondholders, of Greece, Spain, and Portugal, he pointed out.
"And probably British banks are the creditors of Ireland [which has guaranteed private bank debts," he said. "I am not sure about the chances of the various candidates for any of them to prevail. But the developing countries have to stand together."
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a UN diplomat told IPS: "The Europeans have indicated they would like to keep the job. So they have no plans to let go off their hold on the IMF."
It will be difficult for the emerging world to stake a claim if the Europeans take this approach, he said. This is especially so as Europe, the United States and Japan hold the majority of voting shares.
That is not to say that there are no capable candidates from the strongest emerging economies, he said.
"I am sure that BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] or others can put up good candidates, if they want to," he said.
But if Europe wants to retain its hold on the top job, and they have cited their current financial and economic difficulties as a reason for wanting to make sure they have the job - needing someone sympathetic to their plight - than it is going to be difficult for the Asians, Africans or Latin Americans to get it, he said.
Traditionally, the IMF head is elected by the 187 members of the institution.
The winner must obtain 85% of the votes. But the voting power is concentrated among the top contributors to the IMF, including the United States (16.7%), Japan (6.0%), Germany (5.8), UK (4.8%), France (4.8%), China (3.6%) and Italy (3.2% ).
So, in effect, the Europeans have command of the majority voting powers.
Meanwhile, a global coalition of non-governmental organizations is calling for an open and transparent process in the election of the IMF head and a break in the European monopoly.
The campaigners, including the Bretton Woods Project, ActionAid and Oxfam want "a fair, transparent and merit-based process for the selection of the next head of the IMF".
Oxfam spokesperson Elizabeth Stuart said, "The only way to give the new IMF head legitimacy and authority is through open voting, with the winner backed by a majority of countries, not just a majority of shares."