Update: *IMF BOARD EXPRESSES CONFIDENCE IN LAGARDE AFTER TRIAL DECISION
“As we have said before, it would not be appropriate to comment on a case that has been and is currently before the French judiciary,’’ International Monetary Fund spokesman Gerry Rice says in e-mailed statement.
“However, the Executive Board has been briefed on recent developments related to this matter, and continues to express its confidence in the Managing Director’s ability to effectively carry out her duties. The Board will continue to be briefed on this matter”
* * *
As we detailed earlier, in December we warned of her career’s “terminal decline,” and it appears, just as with Dominic Strauss-Kahn, someone is upset at the IMF Director (perhaps she has just been too darn negative, or pushy towards policy-makers?). In a surprising twist for ‘the establishment’ Bloomberg reports that Christine Lagarde may face consequences for her actions (or lack of them). France’s Supreme Court rules that The IMF director will have to stand trial for alleged “negligence” in accepting an arbitration panel decision in favor of a French businessman.
It was over a year ago when we reported that a French court has put Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, under a formal probe for negligence in a corruption investigation involving famous financier Bernard Tapie, dating back to her days as finance minister.
Back then Lagarde said the decision was “without basis,” adding she would challenge it with a higher court. The investigation is part of a complex, drawn-out probe into the alleged misuse of state funds. The case stems from a decision in the 2008 to use arbitration to settle a dispute with business tycoon Bernard Tapie. The arbitration panel awarded €420 million to Mr. Tapie.
“The magistrates of the court of justice of the Republic have decided to place me under formal investigation,” Ms. Lagarde said in statement in August of 2014. “After three years of procedure, the sole surviving allegation is that through inadvertence or inattention I may have failed to intervene to block the arbitration that brought to an end the longstanding Tapie litigation,” she added.
We said that this development was hardly a shock: after two years ago the news hit that “IMF’s Lagarde Flat Raided Over French ‘Payout’ Probe” with her ascent to the head of the IMF also riddled with numerous allegations of impropriety involving the Tapie matter. However, a year ago, such outside interventions were below the radar, and certainly never escalated to anything formal or official.
We left it by wondering who and why had been angered by her policies over the past three years, and who could be her replacement, confident her days as IMF head were over: “as for Lagarde, we are confident she and Angelo Mozillo will have enough fake tanning tips to exchange during their long and worry-free retirement.”
Then, in a surprise to us, the Lagarde scandal did what it has done so well for the past 4 years: it went dormant again…