• Marc To Market
    04/20/2014 - 15:01
    Prak central bank balance sheets are still ahead.  Interest rate increases are still several quarters out.  Austerity has peaked.  The output gap has peaked.    What does...

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

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Two Distractions With One DSK





Who needs birds and stones when you have an insolvent fiat-based world and a IMF head fond of single (and/or) double-dipping. If anyone is still confused about the ritual sacrifice of the head of the world's bailout organization (if only on paper), here is Bill Buckler explaining how the immaculate timing of DSK's being dragged out of a plane and made into a full blown media farce achieved two very substantial targets: "First, it removes the “international” aspect of the moves the EU is
making to damp down the ongoing Greek (and others) debt crisis. That
turns the “sovereign debt crisis” into a strictly European problem and
makes sure the headlines keep coming. Second, the stoush of who the next
IMF head will be is now predicted to last until (at least) June 30.
This takes the spotlight off the winding down of the Fed’s QE2, which is
scheduled to end on - that’s right - June 30.
" David Copperfield would be so proud...

 


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DSK To Maid: "No, baby. Don’t worry....Don't You Know Who I Am"





The DSK soap opera continues. The latest revelations about the alleged rape that occurred last Saturday at the Sofitel now detail the specific language attemptedly used by the former IMF head, in what is becoming apparent was nothing more than a case of entitlement gone horribly wrong, and unchecked, thus encouraged, for many years. Per Fox news: "Dominique Strauss-Kahn told a New York hotel maid, “Don’t you know who I am! Don’t you know who I am?” while pinning her down during the alleged sexual assault, law enforcement sources close to the investigation told FoxNews.com. The 32-year-old African immigrant repeatedly told her alleged attacker, “Please, please stop. No!” Strauss-Kahn allegedly responded: “No, baby. Don’t worry, you’re not going to lose your job. Please, baby, don’t worry,” Strauss-Kahn responded, according to investigators. “Don’t you know who I am? Don’t you know who I am?." As usual, with most opinions on the matter appear to have been already determined well in advance of the actual jury trial, the one reasonable assumption is to take everything with a grain of salt.

 


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Handelsblatt Says Consensus Emerges For Christine Lagarde To Head IMF





It may be time to adjust those IMF head odds. Handelsblatt has just reported that the female (and this apparently is key) finance minister of France is next in line to head the world's bailout efforts of all those insolvent countries, courtesy of the support of France, Germany and the US. Google translated: "The race to succeed the retired IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in Germany apparently omitted the designation of a candidate's own. Currently becoming apparent that the Federal Government the nomination of the French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde supports. Nothing has been decided, but it all comes down to the Frenchwoman. Dies erfuhr das Handelsblatt aus Berliner Koalitionskreisen. This Handelsblatt learned from Berlin coalition parties. The U.S. also argue for the Frenchwoman."

 


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China Central Bank Lays It Down: "New IMF Leadership Should Reflect New World Order"





There's a funny thing about the New World Order: it eventually gets too big and bites the hand the feeds it. Enter the PBoC: "The new IMF leadership needs to reflect changes in the world economic order and be more representative of emerging market economies, Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said Thursday in his first public comments since the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. "The senior management team of the IMF should better reflect changes in world economic patterns and should be more representative of emerging market economies." Translation - no more European of American cronies. It is also probably safe to say that Lagarde's odds of pulling the white smoke out of the conclave bag have just plunged. It is also safe to say that with China now unofficially Europe's backstopper (and there were those wondering why China is buying all those Spanish and Portuguese bonds), what China wants, China gets.

 


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Client #10 Emerges: Spitzer Madam Says She Provided Prostitutes For DSK In 2006





When we first speculated that many women would step up and claim they were being abused by DSK a few days back, we had no idea just how right we would be. Yet even we had no idea about the moral caliber of the women doing the "stepping up." Well, The Telegraph has just released the bombshell. "Dominique Strauss-Kahn hired prostitutes from the "Manhattan Madam" who infamously also served Eliot Spitzer, the disgraced former Governor of New York, she claimed on Wednesday night. Kristin Davis said she provided young women for the IMF chief in 2006, as he ran for the French Socialists' presidential nomination, and that one complained about his "aggressive" behaviour. "He was a client of my agency," she told The Daily Telegraph. "When men abuse women I'm no longer going to protect their identities". As for DSK's preference: ""He wanted an 'All-American girl', with a fresh face, from the
mid-West," she said. "A girl in January 2006 complained he was rough and
angry, and said she didn't want to see him again
"."And the hits just keep on coming...

 


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Is This Why DSK Is Housed In A Ward For Inmates With Infectious Diseases





Yesterday when we broke the news that DSK was housed in Rikers Island "West Facility" reserved for inmates with infectious diseases, we speculated, jokingly we hoped, that this may be due to his affliction with a certain sexually transmitted disease. Alas, if what the the NY Post reports this morning ends up being true, the situation may be substantially more serious: "Dominique Strauss-Kahn may have more to worry about than a possible prison sentence. The IMF chief's alleged sex-assault victim lives in a Bronx apartment rented exclusively for adults with HIV or AIDS, The Post has learned. The hotel maid, a West African immigrant, has occupied the fourth-floor High Bridge pad with her 15-year-old daughter since January -- and before that, lived in another Bronx apartment set aside by Harlem Community AIDS United strictly for adults with the virus and their families." Oops.

 


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Another Woman Steps Up: Former Employee Sent Letter To IMF, Warning Organization About DSK Following Her Own Affair





And so another woman appears on the DSK scene, so far unnamed. As AP reports, "An employee who had a brief affair with IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned the organization about his behavior toward women in a letter sent three years ago." And no, this is no the Hungarian Piroska Nagy who almost caused the downfall of DSK if only the bailout crew had had enough brains to do a little more to the "head" than censure him. But it appears that the two are close: "The person who confirmed the existence of
the letter is close to the former International Monetary Fund employee,
Hungarian-born economist Piroska Nagy. The person declined to be
identified, citing the sensitivity of the matter." As a reminder the so far only known major transgression of DSK, Nagy, had worked at the IMF for decades, and left the organization after the affair with Strauss-Kahn in 2008. An IMF-funded investigation into the affair cleared Strauss-Kahn of wrongdoing but criticized his judgment. If it now turns out that the IMF had been officially warned about DSK, yet completely ignored the charges, we may have another public humiliation ala the SEC and Bernie Madoff, which ultimately will strip the organization of even more "bailout" and dollar-alternative power. Which begs the question: just how far will the powers that be go to make sure the SDR concept is now and forever killed as a USD-replacement currency?

 


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Mohamed El-Erian Blasts The "Feudal" Traditions Of The IMF, Officially Denies He Is In The Running To Become The New DSK





Mohamed El-Erian is back to doing what he has been doing best lately: writing opeds. Today, the man who some speculated could well be the replacement for DSK himself, has written a scathing posting blasting the IMF's sad state, focusing on the specifics of the "head" position as well as the qualifications required to attain it. His coup de grace: "This feudal selection approach must be changed; and now is the time to do it. Without a credible and quickly-recovering IMF, Europe will face even more uncertain prospects, progress on structural reforms in advanced economies will recede, and the world will find it more difficult to make room for rapidly growing emerging economies." As for speculation that MEE (in keeping with acronymis) could be the next DSK: "I will not be part of this process; I already have a great job, here in California." His words of wisdom: "Hopefully, governments of the world can finally come together and open the selection process to a pool of other candidates from around the world. By so doing, they would cast aside a tradition that no longer serves a purpose consistent with the spirit of multilateralism and its required effectiveness."

 


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From "Sovereign Liability Management Exercise" To "Reprofiling" To "Muddling Through": The Many Faces Of The Greek Bankruptcy





A week ago it was called "Sovereign Liability Management Exercise" following the politically corrected definition of the Greek bankruptcy by Goldman Sachs. However, after Zero Hedge proposed the unpopular acronym SLiME to capture the essence of this idea, the latest appellation of the current Greek metamorphosis stage from solvency to bankruptcy appears to be "reprofiling." Per Bloomberg: "European finance ministers for the first time floated the idea of talks with bondholders over extending Greece’s debt-repayment schedule, saying that last year’s 110 billion-euro ($156 billion) rescue has failed to restore the country to financial health. Europe would consider “reprofiling” Greek bond maturities as part of a package including stepped-up sales of state assets and deeper spending cuts, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said. “If all these conditions are fulfilled, we can discuss the question of reprofiling,” Juncker told reporters late yesterday after chairing a meeting of euro-area finance chiefs in Brussels. “It’s not reprofiling or nothing. It’s measures, measures and measures, and then maybe reprofiling.” (And speaking of simple profiiling, perhaps someone can tell us why the Rikers island inmate directory is still down, now for almost 12 hours, and since the time of DSK's admission). But back to Greece, where "reprofiling" is merely the latest term to push for what will likely end up being a consensual restructuring: "Introducing that prospect marks a break in Europe’s crisis- fighting strategy, with governments potentially shifting some costs to bondholders instead of relying on taxpayer-funded bailouts to stamp out the debt crisis. The talks were clouded by the absence of International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was denied bail in New York yesterday after being arrested on sexual-assault charges." Of course, when that fails, there is always the last case definition: the "muddling through" one, which is the one known as the "rolloff" where reality finally meats the can in the street, and freefall bankruptcy follows.

 


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Full Complaint Against DSK Released, Detailing Allegation Of Forced Oral And Anal Sex, And Much More





ABC has released the details of the full complaint issued against DSK: "International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn allegedly forced a New York City hotel housekeeper to perform oral sex and submit to anal sex, in addition to allegedly attempting to rape her, according to a complaint filed today by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. The complaint charges him with two counts of criminal sexual act in the first degree, one count of attempted rape, sexual abuse in the first degree, unlawful imprisonment, sexual abuse in the third degree and forcible touching. The complaint is a terse charging document, less than a full page in length. It charges that he forcibly touched the housekeeper's breasts, attempted to pull off her panty hose, twice "forcibly made contact with his penis and the informant's mouth" and that "the defendant engaged in oral sexual conduct and anal sexual conduct with another person by forcible compulsion."

 


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$14.3 Trillion U.S. Debt Ceiling Threatened; Silver Bullion Buying Spree In India After Price Falls





The Financial Times reported on Saturday that “the sharp drop in gold and silver prices has stimulated a surge in buying from India in a sign that consumers in the world’s largest gold-buying country retain faith in the decade-long bull story for precious metals.” Chhabil Jain, a Mumbai silver trader told the Financial Times that “demand for silver bars was going through the roof” and that “many vendors were starting to run low on stocks”. “People are booking incredible amounts of silver as they see the current drop in prices as a great opportunity to buy more ... most are buying for pure investment,” he added. Bloomberg reports this morning that silver was the most traded commodity in April.

 


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Strauss-Kahn Does Not Have Diplomatic Immunity





To all those who thought, himself probably included, that DSK would get away scott free from his most recent rape incident (as opposed to the metaphorical rape that the IMF has exercised over the decades over insolvent creditor nations), the Telegraph has one word: wrong. "Dominique Strauss-Kahn was told he does not have diplomatic immunity from prosecution against charges including alleged rape, said Paul Browne, an NYPD spokesman."

 


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