French court delays decision on Lagarde…again

The French Court of Justice has once again delayed their decision on whether to proceed with an inquiry into allegations of Lagarde’s abuse of authority when French finance minister. It concerns her approval of a settlement to Bernard Tapie, businessman and friend of Sarkozy. A decision that was submitted to a private arbitration panel, and whose ruling was not appealed despite doubts over their independence.

The new decision date is 4 August. Court official Gerard Palisse revealed that one judge had “declared himself incompetent”, requiring a replacement who would need time to familiarise himself with the case. No indication was given as to how this incompetency arose, if it was a sudden affliction or a longstanding ailment. Either way, it seems he left it to the last possible moment to declare it.

Even if courts do decide to proceed with the investigation when they next convene, the process could take years to make its way through the courts and might not even result in a trial. Continue reading “French court delays decision on Lagarde…again”

Lagarde’s first press conference, a lot of wait and see

Lagarde gave her first press conference as managing director of the IMF yesterday, a transcript and video are both available online.

She started by outlining the three C’s, a manifesto of sorts, focusing on the Fund’s connectedness, credibility, comprehensiveness and talked on increasing diversity at the Fund. Diversity in membership and the workforce in terms of gender, ethnicity and academic background so that “people are not clones of each other”.  Perhaps this to avoid further criticism of group think that is said to have hindered the Fund at the time of the last financial crisis.

As expected she faced a barrage of questions on the Eurozone crisis, particularly the possibility of a Greek default and restructuring the role of the ECB and the political and social factors at play. Lagarde gave no direct answers saying:

“I’m afraid that I’m going to disappoint you because you are going to point a lot of questions on Greece and I’m going to either elude the responses, or be very sanitized in my responses, simply because the matter is under review.” The board is due to meet on Friday to consider the next tranche of lending so perhaps some illumination will be provided then? Continue reading “Lagarde’s first press conference, a lot of wait and see”