Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Are Central Banks Setting Each Other Up?

There are times you try to connect the dots. There are others where those connections warrant adorning your trusted tin-foiled cap of choice; for you just can’t get there unless you do. This I believe is one of those times. And if correct? What at first might appear apocryphal, may in fact, be down right apocalyptic. And besides, what good is a tin-foil capped conspiracy theory anyhow if it doesn’t have the potential for doom, correct?  The implications for everything we now take for granted such as: money, enterprise, global commerce, and a whole lot more may be far closer to a “Minsky moment” than any of us dared to imagine.

The Great Greek Fudge

A third Greek bailout involving loans from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the eurozone’s bailout scheme, is now being negotiated. The start was quite rocky, with haggling over the precise location in Athens where negotiations need to take place and Greek officials once again withholding information to creditors. Therefore, few still believe that it will be possible to conclude a deal in time for Greece to repay 3.2 billion euro to the ECB on 20 August. Several national Parliaments in the Eurozone would need to approve a final deal, which would necessitate calling their members back from recess around two  weeks before the 20th, so it’s weird that French EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici still seems so confident that the deadline can be met.

The IMF Experts Flunk, Again

The IMF failures in Greece bring back vivid memories of the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-98... As the Indonesian episode should teach us, the IMF’s management can be very political and often neither trustworthy nor competent. Greece offers yet another chapter.

Why A Third Greek Bailout Is A Bad Idea

Last Sunday, Eurozone countries submitted yet another ultimatum to Greece: implement a whole round of reforms, from eliminating early retirement over scrapping exemptions from sales tax to opening shops on Sunday, and we’ll start negotiations on providing a new bailout of possibly €86bn from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the Eurozone’s bailout scheme, which will carry yet another series of strings attached. As Finland’s Foreign Minister Timo Soini said this week about the idea of a third Greek bailout round: “the Finnish public can’t understand that this is allowed to continue”. Can anyone else?

The Financial Attack On Greece: Where Do We Go From Here?

Every nation has a right to defend itself against attack – financial attack just as overt military attack. That is an essential element in the principle of self-determination. Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and other debtor countries have been under the same mode of attack that was waged by the IMF and its austerity doctrine that bankrupted Latin America from the 1970s onward. International law needs to be updated to recognize that finance has become the modern-day mode of warfare. Its objectives are the same: acquisition of land, raw materials and monopolies. A byproduct of this warfare has been to make today’s financial network so dysfunctional that nations need a financial Clean Slate.

Beware Of Greeks Bearing Referenda

It appears the sovereign peoples of Europe would not go gently into a Federal States of Europe night. Investors need to prepare for the inevitable political solution: referendums across Europe on the constitution of the Federal States of Europe needed to sustain the Euro. Events this weekend will trigger the search for the democratic legitimacy for the single currency and the centralised constitution it requires... or the demise of the unelected 'king Juncker' and 'queen Lagarde' of the Federal States of Europe.

The Care And Feeding Of A Financial Black Hole

"...anyone who knows mathematics can see that the United States is on the verge of collapse because its debt has gone exponential, but no European (never mind American) politician can state the obvious, no matter how obvious it is. American officials and politicians are definitely puppets, controlled by corporate lobbyists and shady oligarchs. But here's a shocker: these are also puppets - controlled by the simple imperatives of profitability and wealth preservation, respectively. In fact, it's puppets all the way down. And what's at the bottom is a giant, ever-expanding, financial black hole."

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Acquitted Of "Aggravated Pimping", Just a "Libertine Who Enjoys Group Sex"

Moments ago, the troubled former head of the IMF whose reign at the top of the international bailout organization ended dramatically after an alleged 2011 rape scandal in a NYC hotel the charges for which were later dropped by not before terminating his employment at the IMF, his marriage and his political career, Dominique Strauss-Kahn finally got some good news when a French court cleared him of "aggravated pimping" charges in which he was accused of helping to operate a prostitution ring of seven women out of the Carlton Hotel in the northern French city of Lille.  At his trial in February, Strauss-Kahn calmly fended off the accusations, saying that while he was a libertine who enjoyed group sex, he was unaware any of the women attending the soirees had been paid to be there.

Former IMF Head: "I Only Had 12 Sex Parties In Three Years"

Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) - who denies charges of pimping - has told a court in northern France that prosecutors had greatly exaggerated the frequency of his "licentious evenings." In fact, as The BBC reports, DSK explained (with a straight face) that he took part in only a few rare sex parties - "only 12 parties the last 3 years."

Meet The Man Behind The Scenes: The "Pro-Market Socialist" Banker Who Will Shape "Europe's Financial Future"

While the media world follows every step of the new Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis (or "YV") with morbid fascination, and for good reason - he is so subdued it makes him flamboyant to a media world unaccustomed with modesty -  the truth is that, for all his best intentions, Yanis as well as the Prime Minister, are merely frontmen for popular consumption. The real brains behind the latest Greek attempt at tearing away the hated "oppressive" shackles of debt (which nobody had a problem incurring originally when everything was going smoothly, but that's a topic for another day) is a banker who sits 3000 kilometers away, on Paris' Boulevard Hausmann, and who is a self-described "pro-market socialist", and fan of The Clash. Meet Lazard's Matthieu Pigasse, the banker, whose actions in the next few days, as the WSJ puts it, will shape  "Europe’s financial future."

Franc-ly Speaking: What If It Were All A Set Up?

Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory debate. Regardless of whether you argue for it, or against, there are times when suddenly the ramifications for plausible truth are realized that overshadow the conspiracy. This is where the plot of truth can get far more sinister than the imagined conspiracy ever could.

Former IMF Head's Hedge Fund Goes Bankrupt After Partner Suicide, Fraud

It there is a better anecdote for everything the IMF stands for than the hedge fund of its former head, disgraced Dominique Strauss-Khan, going broke days after his partner, Thierry Leyne, 49, commits suicide in Tel Aviv under mysterious circumstances as reported previously, and subsequent revelations exposing at least one instance of fraud at the financial firm, we have yet to hear it.

Frontrunning: November 6

  • LOL@Fundamentals: European Stocks Fall as Investors Seek Stimulus Clarity (BBG)
  • Obama, Republicans sound conciliatory note but battles loom (Reuters)
  • Firms drop Pimco funds from managed accounts (Reuters)
  • Not All QE Is Created Equal as U.S. Outpunches ECB-BOJ (BBG)
  • Ukraine Accuses Russia of Sending Troops as Truce Wobbles (BBG)
  • Lenovo Slumps After Projecting China ‘Hypergrowth’ to End (BBG)
  • Palo Alto Networks discovers new malware targeted at Apple devices (Reuters)
  • IPO That Brought In $1 Billion in March Implodes in Denmark (BBG)

Banker Suicides Return: DSK's Hedge Fund Partner Jumps From 23rd Floor Apartment

The summer, thankfully, has been largely bereft of the dismal trend of bankers committing suicide, but as Bloomberg reports, Thierry Leyne, a French-Israeli banker and partner of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the disgraced former chief of the IMF, was found dead Thursday after apparently taking his own life by jumping off the 23rd floor of one of the Yoo towers, a prestigious residential complex in Tel Aviv. This is the 16th financial services executive death this year.