IMF head Christine Lagarde Smith provides evidence that “drain the swamp” should apply to more than Washington, DC.
The IMF head recently gave voters another reason to be glad Donald Trump is President. Christine Lagarde Smith was convicted of a corruption charge, though it seems that she is still being shielded from any consequences from the verdict.
The New York Times report, while seeming rather pro-Lagarde and pro-IMF, admits that this is not the first instance of corruption.
The judges did not impose a fine or jail time on Ms. Lagarde. But the verdict is likely to destabilize the fund, at a time when it faces a host of thorny issues, including questions over its participation in a multibillion-dollar bailout for Greece and uncertainty about the role of the United States once Donald J. Trump becomes president in January.
The board, which was already set to meet on Monday, could ask for her resignation immediately, or Ms. Lagarde could offer it voluntarily. Both of these steps are considered remote, given that the fund just backed her for a second term that began in February.
If anything, the recent political shocks in Europe and the United States are likely to push the I.M.F.’s board to rally behind Ms. Lagarde, even if there are lingering concerns about her credibility. The fund remains a crucial global organization at a time when the roles of international elites and their institutions are being criticized.
So, Lagarde was found guilty but given no penalty. Despite having an IMF head convicted of “negligence,” the IMF board is expected to continue to back her. Why? Worldwide opposition to the IMF motivates them to keep Lagarde in her position.
Doesn’t this seem desperate?
If an organization is being criticized, common sense would dictate that you replace the head of that organization with a more trustworthy person. Keeping a leader who has been found guilty of a crime involving abuse of power is not a rational way to protect the organization’s reputation. For some reason, the board is not expected to apply such reasoning. One wonders if they see her giving millions of public dollars to a wealthy business owner as an asset rather than a liability.
Drain the swamp.
The New York Times is rather vague on what Lagarde did to wind up in court. This video gives a better picture.
Apparently, she bypassed the court system in a way that allowed a business owner to win millions of taxpayer dollars.
What kind of confidence should we have in the organization when one IMF head after another scandal? The IMF seems to attract people attracted to morally questionable behavior.
The legal issues have dogged Ms. Lagarde’s work at the fund, ever since she was appointed in 2011. She took over as managing director after Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned following accusations that he sexually assaulted a maid in a New York City hotel.
Strauss-Kahn may not have been guilty of that particular charge, but he was a notable lecher.
All the more reason to drain the swamp. Get the U.S. out of the IMF!