Christine Lagarde convicted, continues as IMF boss

This video says about itself:

IMF Board Response to Lagarde Conviction [that Ms Lagarde can continue as IMF boss in spite of her conviction] Reaffirms Institutional Indifference to Corruption

21 December 2016

Former financial regulator Bill Black says the case reveals how power and money protect the elite.

IMF boss convicted in fraud scandal, but not sentenced

This video says about itself:

12 December 2016

IMF chief Christine Lagarde goes on trial over ‘negligent’ £338million state payout to tycoon but insists it was ‘in the state’s interest’.

Christine Lagarde was President Nicolas Sarkozy‘s finance minister in 2008.

She approved a deal by which tycoon Bernard Tapie was given a £338m handout.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

No punishment for guilty IMF top woman Lagarde

Today, 15:44

IMF boss Christine Lagarde was found guilty by a court in Paris of negligence. But the court does not impose a penalty for Lagarde.

The case against the 60-year-old Lagarde was about a disputed payment to businessman Bernard Tapie in 2008, when Lagarde was Minister of Economic Affairs. A special court then handed Tapie 400 million euros [of taxpayers’ money], because he had allegedly been treated unfairly in an equity transaction. Later it turned out that there were links between Tapie and one of the judges.

The court has now ruled that Lagarde should have appealed against the compensation because there were suspicions of fraud already in 2008. Also Lagarde’s staff had advised to stop the payment, but she did not. That’s why she now had to stand trial for neglicence. …

Lagarde did not wait for the verdict and on Saturday was already flown back to the IMF office in Washington. Whether the judgment will affect her job is unclear. “It’s waiting now to see how the IMF board will react,” said [NOS correspondent] Renaut.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde let off scot-free after negligence conviction: here.

So, the verdict is that Ms Lagarde is guilty, but gets just a slap on the wrist. If some unemployed person would be involved in a fraud affair, not of 400 million euros, but of 400 euros, that person probably would be sentenced much more harshly than Ms Lagarde.

It reminds me of Dutch xenophobic politician Geert Wilders. Wilders was recently convicted by a Dutch court of racism; but, like Ms Lagarde, he did not have to pay a fine of a single euro and did not have to spend a single minute in jail. While some hot-headed poor young Dutch Muslim who would have insulted Dutch non-Muslims in a similar way as Wilders insulted Moroccans, other Muslims, Romanians, Poles etc. would not have come off as lightly as Wilders.

Christine Lagarde, IMF boss, in Sarkozy financial scandal

This 2013 video says about itelf:

Two French heads of the IMF in a row in legal scandals of different kinds begins to reflect embarrassingly on their country of origin. Christine Lagarde, when she was shortlisted for the job after Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned in disgrace, did mention there was a risk of her past career resurfacing, but she got the post anyway.

From the New York Times in the USA:

Christine Lagarde, I.M.F. Chief, Under Investigation in France


AUG. 27, 2014

PARIS — Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, said on Wednesday that French prosecutors had placed her under formal investigation over a murky business affair that dates to her time as finance minister under former President Nicolas Sarkozy. …

She made the announcement a day after she was questioned for a fourth time in the investigation of her role in 2008 during an arbitration proceeding between the government and Bernard Tapie, a onetime cabinet minister and the former owner of the Adidas sportswear empire. Prosecutors had assigned Ms. Lagarde the status of “assisted witness” in the case. Placing her under formal investigation signals that prosecutors believe they have evidence of wrongdoing, but the charge of negligence hardly suggests high crimes.

Negligence by a government official that makes possible the misappropriation or embezzlement of public funds is punishable with a maximum fine of 15,000 euros, or $19,800, and up to one year in prison. …

In the French legal system, a formal investigation suggests prosecutors believe they have enough of a case that they may ultimately bring criminal charges and trial. …

Stéphane Richard, Ms. Lagarde’s former chief of staff and currently the chief executive of Orange, the French telecommunications giant, has already been placed under formal investigation on “suspicion of organized fraud.”

From France 24 TV:

French baffled by IMF chief’s bizarre letter to Sarkozy


A leaked letter in which IMF chief Christine Lagarde pledges her allegiance to former president Nicolas Sarkozy has caused bewilderment in France, raising further suspicions over fraud at the highest levels of government.

“Use me”, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde purportedly urged former president Nicolas Sarkozy, in a letter court investigators seized at her Paris home in March and which was leaked to the French press.

The undated and handwritten letter, a wholehearted pledge of allegiance to Sarkozy, has caused bemusement in France because of its strange choice of words, but has also rekindled concerns about Lagarde’s role in a controversial settlement that awarded millions of euros from the state to controversial French businessman Bernard Tapie in 2008.

The IMF chief was questioned for several hours on May 23 by prosecutors looking into whether the settlement was the result of fraud. More specifically, investigators are probing whether Tapie received the payout thanks to his cozy relationship with the Sarkozy administration – which included Lagarde as finance minister.

However, the leaked letter –  in which she tells Sarkozy “Use me for as long as it suits you and suits your plans and casting call” – has thrust her back into the spotlight, calling her impartiality into question and showering her with ridicule for the unusual style and vocabulary used.

A translation of the full text originally published on the website of daily Le Monde follows below.

Dear Nicolas, very briefly and respectfully,

1) I am by your side to serve you and serve your plans for France.

2) I tried my best and might have failed occasionally. I implore your forgiveness.

3) I have no personal political ambitions and I have no desire to become a servile status seeker, like many of the people around you whose loyalty is recent and short-lived.

4) Use me for as long as it suits you and suits your plans and casting call.

5) If you decide to use me, I need you as a guide and a supporter: without a guide, I may be ineffective and without your support I may lack credibility.

With my great admiration, Christine L.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave an hour-long primetime interview on France2 Sunday evening, after announcing Friday in a Facebook post that he is officially returning to political life after his defeat in the 2012 presidential elections: here.

Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, is reportedly facing trial in France over a €400 million (£290 million) payout to businessman Bernard Tapie, according to French media: here.

Christine Lagarde, the IMF and Karl Marx

This video from France says about itself:

Corruption probe moves closer to IMF chief as aide charged

13 June 2013

Stephane Richard, the head of telecoms company Orange and a former aide to IMF chief Christine Lagarde, has been charged in a corruption probe related to Lagarde‘s time as France’s finance minister.

From daily The Morning Star in England:

Christine Lagarde invokes Marx at ‘inclusive capitalism’ conference

Wednesday 28th may 2014

INTERNATIONAL Monetary Fund boss Christine Lagarde raised the ghost of Karl Marx yesterday at a London conference of the super-rich on “inclusive capitalism.”

The managing director cited the founder of scientific socialism’s insight that capitalism “carried the seeds of its own destruction” while addressing an audience of corporate tycoons at the Mansion House and Guildhall.

Business bigwigs who jointly manage £17.8 trillion were invited by the City of London and financiers EL Rothschild to discuss how repeated crises, mass unemployment and spiralling inequality were undermining confidence in the capitalist order.

But the well-heeled guests had little to offer by way of reform except vague allusions to “corporate responsibility” and praise for wealthy philanthropists.

Ms Lagarde said she feared that “massive excess, rising social tensions and growing political disillusion” were costing “trust in leaders, in institutions, in the free market itself.”

She called for “rewards for all within a market economy.”

Marx Library chairman Alex Gordon said Ms Lagarde was “fond of appropriating Marx” without having read or understood his work.

“Marx predicted the failure of the IMF to ‘civilise’ capitalism. Marx wrote that bourgeois society ‘is like the sorcerer no longer able to control the powers of the nether world he has called up by his spells. Not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself, it has called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons, the modern working class’,” Mr Gordon said.

Speakers at the City shindig included former US president Bill Clinton, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and royal loudmouth Charles Windsor, who intoned pieties about capitalism serving “the concerns of humanity rather than the other way around.”

His royal highness was thinking about the proper role of business in society 30 years ago,” gushed EL Rothschild CEO Lynn Forester de Rothschild.

But Left Economics Advisory Panel co-founder Andrew Fisher said: “Capitalism is necessarily exclusive. Only a few can hold capital in any meaningful quantity.

“If you want an inclusive society you need to democratise the economy — and that is called socialism, not capitalism.”

See also here.

On Tuesday the world’s major investors, plus celebrities such as ex-President Clinton, confirmed admirers, and even relics of feudal society such as Prince Charles, met at an exclusive ‘Inclusive Capitalism Initiative’, from which of course the working class was barred: here.

The highest-paid woman CEO makes less than 1/3 of the highest-paid man: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Christine Lagarde, IMF, in financial scandal

This video says about itself:

March 20, 2013

French police have carried out a raid on the Paris home of IMF chief Christine Lagarde in connection with a probe into her handling of a high-profile scandal when she was a government minister.

By Olivier Laurent:

IMF head Christine Lagarde implicated in a financial scandal

3 July 2013

Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)—the main organisation behind the austerity policies worldwide—is under investigation in France in relation to a financial scandal involving hundreds of millions of euros.

The main issue in the affair is compensation paid by the French state to businessman Bernard Tapie in 2008, after he brought charges against the state-owned Crédit Lyonnais bank over a complex swindle involving it and some of its subsidiaries.

Tapie ended up ruined in the mid-1990s due to this and several other affairs where he was accused of corruption and misuse of corporate assets. In 1997, he was sentenced to one year in prison.

He maintained that he was the victim of a swindle by Crédit Lyonnais. At the time, this state-owned bank had developed a policy of making high-risk, opaque investments through many subsidiary companies, requiring the injection of large sums of cash. In 1993, the bank announced losses of 130 billion francs (€20 billion), sparking one of the biggest scandals since the beginning of the Fifth Republic in 1958. The French state took over the debt administered by a public “Realisation Consortium.” The bank was partially reprivatised and recapitalised in 1999. This is why Tapie claimed compensation from the state.

The procedure ended in 2005 on appeal, with the state being condemned to pay Tapie €135 million. However, in 2006, the Court of Cassation quashed the verdict, asserting that in the case of Crédit Lyonnais no malpractice had been found and sending the case back to the appeals court.

On October 10, 2006, the state services accepted arbitration in the affair, but at that time, Tapie insisted that he wanted a retrial.

However, once Nicolas Sarkozy was elected president in 2007, Tapie made an abrupt about-face and proposed another arbitration, which this time was accepted by Lagarde, who was Sarkozy’s economy minister.

The arbitration tribunal in charge of the mediation in 2008 boosted Tapie’s compensation, granting him €403 million, including €45 million for non-material damages (préjudice moral), a record in French legal history. This left him with €200 million, after paying off his debts. Although she was entitled to do so, Lagarde declined to contest this decision.

The ongoing investigation suggests that there may have been an understanding between the government, the arbitration judges, including associates of Tapie, and Tapie himself. One of the arbitration judges has himself been indicted, as well as Lagarde’s former chief of staff and the former president of the Realisation Consortium.

Indeed, Tapie admitted in an interview in Le Parisien of June 14 that he had “gone to the Elysée presidential palace several times” in advance to discuss this arbitration. This would at the very least place Sarkozy’s closest collaborator—Elysée general secretary Claude Guéant, nicknamed “the second prime minister” or “the vice president”—under suspicion.

For the moment, Lagarde has the status of an “assisted witness.” That means that the judges have evidence against her, but not yet “serious or consistent” enough to indict her. According to the press, favourable comments by current economy minister Pierre Moscovici were decisive in their decision not to indict her. He told Le Monde, “Mrs. Lagarde has the full confidence of the French authorities in her functions at the head of the IMF. I will repeat this if necessary, either in person or though a representative of France, to the board of the Fund.”

Moscovici’s intervention is all the more remarkable, as the Socialist Party (PS) opposed the €403 million compensation when it was announced. Jean-Marc Ayrault, the present prime minister, declared at the time that “everything in this affair is state cronyism.” However, the leadership of the IMF is traditionally French—a prerogative that has already suffered since Dominique Strauss-Kahn lost his position as IMF head in 2011. In this situation, the higher interests of the bourgeois state prevail over political rivalries.

What Lagarde and Sarkozy got in return has not yet been clearly established. It could be that they primarily wanted Tapie’s support in media circles.

Tapie, the emblematic self-made man of the 1980s, was launched into politics by social-democratic president François Mitterrand in 1987, because he symbolised the union of social democracy and the business world. He masked this behind a populist image based mainly on the success of the Marseille fooball club, which he owned, and on his aggressive rhetoric against the neo-fascist National Front (FN), whose voters he called “swine”. He was deputy for the Bouches-du-Rhône district from 1989 to 1992 and urban minister in 1992-1993.

Later, Tapie, building on his image as an iconoclast, remained a celebrity in France and maintained some popularity with the public, notably around Marseille. It would be no surprise if he had sought to use this popularity to his financial advantage, when he backed Sarkozy in the 2007 presidential elections—though Sarkozy directed his campaign around appealing to FN voters.

The cynicism and corruption revealed at all levels by this affair are no accident. Affairs showing the generalised corruption of the political elites are multiplying in France, and they demonstrate many corrupt relations between the different camps of bourgeois politics.

All this plays into the hands of the far right, which is becoming increasingly bold in its provocative actions.

IMF’s Christine Lagarde suspected of corruption

IMF chief Christine Lagarde Photo: Reuters

From the (Conservative) Daily Telegraph in England:

French police raid IMF chief Christine Lagarde‘s flat in Bernard Tapie probe

French authorities have searched the Paris flat of IMF chief Christine Lagarde as part of an investigation into her handling of a 2008 compensation payment to a businessman supporter of ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, her lawyer said.

By Andrew Trotman, and agencies

12:24PM GMT 20 Mar 2013

Police are investigating claims that Lagarde, when French Finance Minister under Nicolas Sarkozy, acted illegally in approving the €285m arbitration payout to Bernard Tapie.

IMF boss suspected of crime

IMF chief Christine Lagarde slags the Greeks, cartoon

Once, there was a French boss of the International Monetary Fund. He preached austerity to Greece, other European countries, and poor Asian, African, and South American countries.

His name was Dominique Strauss-Kahn. He had to resign in a rape scandal.

Strauss-Kahn’s successor Christine Lagarde preached austerity to Greece, other European countries, and poor Asian, African, and South American countries, like him. She was French like him. But, unlike Strauss-Kahn, she was not a member of the French Socialist party, but of Sarkozy’s conservative party.

Christine Lagarde was in the news because of a honorary degree for her, against which there were protests.

There would have been even more protests, if the protesters would have known what is in the Financial Times:

January 24, 2013 6:04 pm

French police step up Lagarde probe

By Hugh Carnegy in Paris

French investigators have stepped up a probe into allegations that Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, acted illegally when as French finance minister she instigated an arbitration process that awarded €400m to Bernard Tapie, the controversial businessman.

The Brigade Financière, which investigates white-collar crime, said its officers raided the homes on Thursday morning of Mr Tapie and Stéphane Richard, chief executive of France Telecom and Ms Lagarde’s chef de cabinet at the time of the award in 2008, in connection with the case. …

Ms Lagarde, who denies any wrongdoing, has been under investigation since 2011 for her role in setting up an arbitration panel to settle a long-running dispute in which Mr Tapie claimed he was defrauded by Credit Lyonnais, a state-owned bank, over the sale of Adidas, the sportswear company he owned for a spell in the early 1990s.

The arbitration panel awarded him €285m plus interest, paid by taxpayers. The Court of Justice of the Republic, a special court which deals with cases of ministerial wrongdoing, ordered the investigation on suspicion that Ms Lagarde was guilty of abuse of power in imposing the arbitration process and that the government should have appealed the sum awarded.

At the time, the then Socialist opposition accused President Nicolas Sarkozy and his government of having rewarded Mr Tapie for his support in the 2007 presidential election. Before the arbitration panel was set up, the French state had strongly contested Mr Tapie’s litigation.

Mr Tapie is a colourful figure who served as a minister under François Mitterrand, the late former Socialist president. In 1997, he served six months in prison for match fixing involving his football team Olympic Marseille. He recently acquired a chain of local newspapers in the south of France.

Christine Lagarde, no honorary doctorate in Belgium!

Greece and austerity, cartoon

From the AVAAZ site:


ENGLISH. We do not accept that the KU Leuven

the Roman Catholic university in Leuven, Belgium

awards a honorary doctorate to Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, since she leads a huge austerity and privatization offensive, throwing tens of millions of people into misery. …

On October 29, the KU Leuven will award Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, a honorary doctorate for “her outstanding and internationally recognised leadership during times of financial crisis”. The KU Leuven praises “her strong leadership, her exceptional legal and macroeconomic vision, and her lucid analyses”. Furthermore, she is “a shining example for our students of economics” (

This is an insult to and shows a complete lack of respect for the tens of millions of people who are thrown into misery by the IMF-led Troika. In Southern Europe, the continuous fire of austerity and privatization measures is causing a huge increase of unemployment, poverty, hunger, suicide, etc.

Moreover, this policy results in a shrinking market and, hence, in a further deepening of the crisis.

You can sign here.

Christine Lagarde wants more poverty in Greece

This music video says about itself:

Jan 19, 2012

Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel, Josè Manuel Barroso and Christine Lagarde doing the Eurozone Shuffle. – The world’s almost in recession (again), luckily music makes the bad times better.

By Robert Stevens:

Troika arrives in Athens to organise looting of Greece

5 July 2012

The New Democracy-led Greek coalition government is meeting officials from the troika—the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF)—today.

Christine Lagarde, IMF’s managing director, marked the occasion with a stern warning to Athens that the austerity programme must continue. In an interview with CNBC Tuesday, Lagarde said, “I am not in a negotiation or renegotiation mood at all.”

Referring to reports that the Greek government is to present figures recording the social misery caused by years of austerity to press the case for a renegotiation of the country’s debt, she added, “I’m very interested in seeing what has been done in the last few months in terms of complying with the programme.”

Despite the majority voting in the June 17 general election against parties supporting the Memorandum with the troika on harsh debt repayment terms, the coalition of ND, the social democratic PASOK and the Democratic Left is intent on meeting the demands for further savage cuts. Its talk of renegotiating a two-year extension for paying back Greece’s 350 billion euro debt is hot air. No such compromise is on offer, as Lagarde makes clear.

A popular repudiation of the austerity agenda of ND and a collapse in the vote for PASOK, with SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) finishing second by campaigning on an anti-cuts ticket, forced the coalition to pledge not to impose certain planned cuts, such as a 22 percent reduction in the minimum wage.

Within days they were forced to retract such promises due to the hostile response of the troika. Prime Minister and ND leader Antonis Samaras responded with a letter to EU leaders affirming that government accepted “ownership of the adjustment programme and is fully committed to its targets, its objectives and all its key policies.”

Lagarde’s remarks neatly bookend comments she made just weeks prior to the election, in which she insisted that there was no alternative to the mass social immiseration being imposed in Greece. Asked by the Guardian if she was “essentially saying to the Greeks and others in Europe, you’ve had a nice time and now it’s payback time,” she responded, “That’s right.”

Prior to the visit of leading troika officials, their technical teams have been working with government ministry officials to establish the exact state of Greece’s finances. According to the right-wing daily Kathemerini, they will detail any “progress in implementing agreed-on reforms, before compiling an audit that creditors will use as the basis for negotiations when they return to Athens…”

The troika is acting like a liquidator, collecting debts on behalf of the global banks by selling assets and demanding cuts. And it is the Greek working class that is being made to pay.

Since the onset of the global crisis in 2007, the Greek economy has been plunged into a recession made worse by the demands of the troika. After five years of shrinkage, the economy is set to contract by nearly seven percent this year. Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said Tuesday, “We will present information [to the troika officials] that is astounding. It is alarming in terms of the recession and unemployment, and it shows beyond any doubt that the current policy does not bring results.”

But even as it warns of the results of such policies, the government is making clear that it will carry out further measures, including the closures or merger of around 60 state-funded organisations, many of which provide vital social and cultural services. To meet the rapacious demands of the banks and European corporations, it plans a fire-sale privatisation of whole sectors of the Greek economy.

Greece’s new finance minister Yannis Stournaras admitted today that it is falling behind on the promises it made in order to get billions in bailout loans: here.

Pressure mounted on Portugal’s government today to ask its international creditors for more time to meet its EU and IMF-imposed deficit targets.

The Italian government today approved austerity cuts of up to €26 billion (£20.6bn) over the next three years: here.

Recession hits middle-aged women worst, new research finds: here.