Christine Lagarde

A special French court has declared International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde GUILTY OF CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE in a long-running arbitration case.  The judge however chose not to punish or give her a criminal record.

In her public response statement video however, LaGarde does not recognize that she was found guilty and seems impervious to the reality that the judge’s decision was thoughtful.  The judge chose not to charge her or damage her reputation with a permanent criminal charge.

The court did not however, as she implies,  find her innocent of all charges – on the contrary.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

The lame duck chief of the IMF (she’s in her last year) has misinterpreted the ruling to mean there was no wrong doing found on her part whatsoever and  that the entire IMF body is behind her. Not true!  The incident just tells the world that the IMF leadership is having some difficulty choosing leaders.

The Chief before Christine Lagarde, was Dominique Strauss-Kahn who was accused of sexually assaulting a maid working in the NYC hotel where he was staying.

Strauss-Kahn after being hauled off an AirFrance flight.

Strauss-Kahn invested a great deal in legal defense against a maid who had no such comparable income and could not finance a defense as he did. The case went back and forth and he eventually settled with the maid for $1.5 Million. No one would be settling with a maid for a million and a half if there wasn’t something he wanted to stop. And fun, even sexual fun requires lots of money.

Nafissatou, Diallo

The right to a private life fell into question when Strauss-Kahn’s personal sexual proclivities were detailed on television, newspapers and magazines the world over.  It cost a pretty penny to indulge his outsized sexual habits, Strauss-Kahn, who is also known as DSK and his defense since back in May, 2011, when New York police hauled him off an Air France plane and into Rikers Island prison, and charged him with the sexual assault and attempted rape of Nafissatou Diallo, a maid at the Sofitel Hotel in Manhattan.

René Kojfer

That arrest had momentous consequences in France, effectively rewriting the country’s political history.
Strauss-Kahn, now 66, was the most popular candidate for president at the time, and his New York arrest led to now-President François Hollande winning the election in 2012. The DSK trial in New York also unleashed other charges in France itself.

A young French journalist accused Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her while she was interviewing him in a Paris apartment in 2002.

Soon after, Lille prosecutors charged him and 13 others with organizing regular orgies that included — according to two prostitutes — Strauss-Kahn forcing them to have anal sex against their will. The only defendant convicted was Rene Kojfer, the former public-relations chief of the Carlton Hotel in Lille, where many of the orgies took place.

The Court of Justice of the Republic ruled that her negligence while servicing as finance minister allowed for the misappropriation of funds by other people. The others, in a separate case, haven’t yet been tried.

Bernard Tapie

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde has been convicted on one count of negligence by a French court.

Lagarde was accused of failing to prevent a government payout to businessman Bernard Tapie when she was French finance minister eight years ago.

The Paris trial investigated how Lagarde handled a dispute between former state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais and businessman Bernard Tapie over the 1993 sale of Adidas AG. Lagarde allowed the disagreement to go to arbitration — at the start of the financial crisis — and then didn’t appeal the award. The subsequent government payout was cut to zero last year after doubts were cast on the impartiality of one of the three arbitrators.

Uh oh. There could be a spanner in the works of the Monte dei Paschi fundraising. Reuters reports:

Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena is trying to resolve differences with a key investor over its 5 billion euro ($5.2 billion) rescue plan to allow the deal to go ahead and avoid a state bailout.

Italy’s third-largest bank has until the end of December to raise capital and offload 28 billion euros in gross bad loans as requested by European Central Bank supervisors.

Monte dei Paschi has failed to find buyers for its shares so far. On Monday, it shook the market again with a warning that Italian bank industry bailout fund Atlante was rethinking its 1.5 billion euro purchase of bad loans from the lender.

Atlante had expressed “deep reservations” in a Dec. 17 letter over the terms of a bridge loan that Monte dei Paschi had secured as part of the sale of bad loans, the bank said.

Monte dei Paschi shares extended losses on the news, erasing a week’s gains to trade down 7.7 percent at 19.3 euros each.

“If issues raised by (Atlante’s manager) Quaestio cannot be solved, the operation could not be concluded by Dec. 31, 2016 as requested by the European Central Bank,” the bank said in a statement.

However, Carlo Messina, chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo, one of Atlante’s top contributors, said he believed the investment fund should go ahead with the deal and that it would reach a decision by Tuesday at the latest.

Italy is ready to bail out Monte dei Paschi, the world’s oldest bank,to prevent it being wound down and destabilising the euro zone’s fourth-largest banking sector.

Time for an update on the markets, and it’s an uncertain pattern.

Most European markets are still marginally lower, although off their worst levels, while Italy’s FTSE MIB is up 0.3% despite the fall in Monte dei Paschi as the bank starts its €5bn refinancing.

The FTSE 100 has also edged higher – just – up 0.09%. But France’s Cac is 0.26% lower, Germany’s Dax has dipped 0.03% and Spain’s Ibex is down 0.66%

Meanwhile with the strength of the dollar continuing in the wake of last week’s rate rise from the US Federal Reserve, the pound fell around 1% to its lowest level for a month, although it has recovered a little ground and is now down 0.75% at £1.2394.

Against the euro, sterling is down 0.5% at €1.1882.

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