Dan Majestic writes from Washington: Pressure is growing on Christine Lagarde, who was appointed as the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund today, to get embroiled in a juicy sex scandal as soon as possible, to steady the nerves of some bankers out there who are worried that she would not live up to the expectations of keeping the great traditions of the IMF alive. Until very recently these traditions were brilliantly upheld by Dominique Strauss-Khan, who had resigned to spend more time with his erection. Not to mention to stand trial on charges of attempted rape and six counts of sexual abuse.
Ms Lagarde would be the first ever woman to run the IMF and, as most of it staff are hoping, will start chasing men at her work place, demanding sexual favours from them at the first opportunity. Who cares about the crisis in the eurozone and in pretty much all other parts of the world when the authority of the IMF as a place, where sexual tension has always been high, needs to be preserved. Especially as Ms Lagarde is divorced, looks like she’s been around and could technically be open to all sorts of suggestions.
Unusually, the new IMF chief was born on January 1st, in the middle of the last century, and knew from the early age what she wanted: to become the first female head of the IMF and have some serious fun at her job. Once she rose to be France’s finance minister, she was waiting for Strauss-Kahn to slip up, which he finally did, in a hotel room in New York, when he decided to have wild steamy sex with a chambermaid, as you do when you are a powerful banker. From now on Ms Lagarde’s private life would be monitored very closely, in the hope that she will get down to, ahem, serious business at the earliest opportunity.
Ms Lagarde has already told her millions of fans that she is over the moon with her appointment and even said, rather controversially, that she was going to serve the interests all the members of the IMF, basically breaking with the long-standing tradition of managing directors only doing what the US and several of its key Western allies want. It’s not yet known whether the new IMF boss has already received a congratulatory message from secret world government, but it is clear that the mighty powerbrokers are delighted with the choice. Especially as if they would not have been happy, Ms Lagarde would not be where she is now.
The US supported Ms Lagarde’s candidacy, just like Russia and China did, although no one in Moscow and Beijing knows who she is. British Chancellor George Osborne cunningly pretended that he always wanted to see Christine as head of the IMF, even though everyone knows that Britain was plotting against her and only supported her after France promised to get the UK off the hook and not force it to contribute money to the second Greek bail-out.
And speaking of Greece. The new IMF managing director, chick or no chick, will have to tackle the crisis in Greece and pour more money into it – to keep it in the eurozone. At the moment together with the EU the IMF is pumping billions into Greece to save it from bankruptcy, although no one really knows where the money goes, apart from servicing the debts to international banks and backhanders to Greek politicians. Technically, under the existing arrangement Greece can suck in a trillion or two with no problems and it remains to be seen how far the EU leaders are prepared to go to keep their banker friends happy and their own career safe.
Ms Lagarde, who is under pressure to have an affair within her organisation as soon as possible – to steady the nerves, so to speak, had actually had an opponent for the job, Mexican central banker Agustin Carstens, a man who likes his food – a lot. Agustin was a not a serious contender right from the start, but was asked to throw his hat into the ring to make the whole process more exciting.
The markets have responded well to Ms Lagarde’s appointment – but then what do they know? It remains to be seen whether she will be able to follow in the steps of her great predecessor and make a serious impact on the front pages of the tabloid press.
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