What is the International Monetary Fund, and Who is Dominique Strauss-Kahn?

by Kristina on May 26, 2011 · 4 comments

foreign currencyOver the last week, CNN and many other news channels around the world have been reporting on the arrest and investigation of the sexual assault allegations against (now former) International Monetary Fund Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Who is Dominique Strauss-Kahn?

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is a French Economist and Banker who recently resigned as Chief of the International Monetary Fund.  On May 14th Dominique Strauss-Kahn was accused of attacking a maid on May 14, 2011 in the Sofitel Hotel in New York City.

The charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn are two counts of criminal sexual act, two counts of sexual abuse, one count each of attempt to commit rape, unlawful imprisonment, and forcible touching.  Strauss-Kahn is married to Anne Sinclair who has been referred to as the French Barbara Walters.  Both she and her husband are very public figures in France and around the world.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was in the 4th year of his 5 year term as Chief of the International Monetary Fund.  He recently resigned his position after the news of his sexual assault allegations hit the media worldwide.  Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves behind an annual salary of over $400,000, as well as a very lucrative travel allowance.

Even though Strauss-Kahn maintains his innocents on all charges, he still resigned his position as Chief of the International Monetary Fund. The IMF will give Strauss-Kahn a departure severance of $250,000 along with an annual pension.  It is definitely a profitable package in the eyes of most people but is a huge pay cut for someone who maintains their innocence.

Strauss-Kahn was arrested at JFK airport in New York on sexual assault charges on Saturday May 14th and released on bail Thursday May 19th.  He is now confined to house arrest in a New York City apartment as he awaits his next court date, which is set for June 6.  His Bail conditions included $1 million in cash as well as $5 million in bonds. Dominique Strauss-Kahn was also required to surrender all of his travel documents.

What is the IMF?

The International Monetary Fund was created in 1944 towards the end of the Second World War to help rebuild global economies from devastation.  Its goal is to promote global monetary cooperation with fair exchange rates, facilitate international trade to ensure that countries can easily transact with each other, as well as promote sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.

It is headquartered in Washington DC with approximately 2500 staff members from 160 countries.  There are currently 187 member countries of the IMF.  If a country wishes to become a member of the IMF they are given a quota which dictates their financial contribution, their voting rights, as well as their percentage as a stakeholder in the IMF.

The International Monetary Fund also lends money to its member countries that are experiencing financial difficulties in hopes of rebuilding or stabilizing their economies.  Recent IMF projects include a loan of 26 billion Euros to Portugal to support economic growth and $30 billion US Dollars of financial assistance to Ireland.

What is next for the IMF?

The IMF committee hopes to select the next Chief by the end of June. As for now all processes are business as usual.  The next Chief of the IMF will be voted in by a committee from a pool of nominated candidates.

The European Union currently holds the largest share in the IMF and therefore it is rumoured that they would like to see the new leader of the IMF emerge from Europe.  However, some speculators feel that the new IMF chief should be from an emerging or developing country such as Brazil, India, China, or South Africa. It is interesting to note that of the past 10 IMF 4 of them had been French like Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Do you think the choosing of the next IMF Chief should be a political decision or it should honestly just be the best person for the job?

Photo by Public Domain Photos

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Masood May 26, 2011 at 10:26 am

It’s ‘Strauss-Kahn” not “Strauss-Khan”.

2 fd May 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I would add that DSK was the frontrunner to run against the French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the next presidential election.

3 fd May 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Oh, and to answer the question, I think it should be the best person for the job.

4 Kristina May 31, 2011 at 6:54 pm

I agree that we should put all politics aside and elect the best person for the job, but will that be the reality? I guess we will see at the end of the month.

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