The IMF's Latest Scandal
The International Monetary Fund is facing another potentially embarrassing problem. This time the head of the IMF, Ms. Christine Lagarde is now under investigation in France due to a claim she influenced a decision to award businessman Bernard Tapie a €400m payout.
The situation happened when Ms. Lagarde, who at the time was Finance Minister under Nicholas Sarkosy referred the case which had been filed by Mr. Tapie to a 3 member arbitration panel who subsequently awarded Mr. Tapie the payout.
The case came about as Mr. Tapie used Credit Lyonnais, a partly state owned bank to facilitate the sale of his stake in Adidas back in 1993 before he took a position as a cabinet minister. The case stated that the bank deliberately undervalued his holding in the company.
Lagarde commented last year that at the time it was the best decision at the time however as Mr. Tapie supported Nicholas Sarkosy's election campaign in 2007 a conflict of interest has been raised.
In an announcement form her lawyer, he said that he will personally appeal against the case allowing Ms. Lagarde the ability to not have to return to Paris to face the claims. Instead she will return to Washington to update the IMF board with what is happening.
Questions were raised about the remainder of her term which isnt due to finish until 2016. She stated that she wouldnt be resigning and that there was nothing untoward in the dealings.
This is the second French IMF head to make the papers for less than positive news. Back in 2011 Ms. Lagarde replaced Dominique Strauss-Kahn who resigned after a string of sexual assault charges were filed and later dropped.
With the global economy as it is now, the last thing the IMF needs is a leader that has questions over their integrity. How this will affect their image is yet to be seen as it is still early in the case however this is surely going to reduce confidence in the global monetary policy makers.
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