Saturday, October 18, 2008

IMF chief faces investigation over extramarital affair

Hmm, this sounds familiar. The word from Washington is that the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is under investigation for abuse of power over an affair he had with a subordinate who got a buyout package to leave the institution. According to the Reuters international news service, the investigation of Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, was launched at the behest of Shakour Shaalan, the head of the IMF's board of directors, who learned of the affair over the summer. "All allegations, particularly those involving senior management, are taken extremely seriously," an IMF spokesman said. "The dean has asked external counsel to conduct an independent investigation and determine the validity of the allegations." The spokesman said the probe was being handled by outside counsel and was expected to be completed by the end of the month, Reuters said. Strauss-Kahn said he was cooperating with the investigation. "At no time did I abuse my position as the fund's managing director," he said. A lawyer for the subordinate, Piroska Nagy, a former IMF senior economist, said she was not given preferential treatment before or after she left the IMF in August. Reuters said IMF critics contend that members with knowledge of the affair could have used the information to their advantage in policy and funding disputes with the fund. Strauss-Kahn is considered a leading candidate to head France's Socialist Party, Reuters said.

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