The Great Debate UK

from Breakingviews:

Strauss-Kahn case may also vindicate U.S. justice

By Reynolds Holding
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The latest developments in the sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn have not only eased the terms of his detainment but may also vindicate the U.S. justice system. New York cops took heat from far and wide for quickly and publicly detaining the ex-International Monetary Fund boss, helping feed a broad rush to judgment. But it sounds as if prosecutors were the ones to uncover some holes in the case against him. That suggests Strauss-Kahn was treated without fear or favor.

Prosecutors did themselves no favors by claiming early on that the allegations by Strauss-Kahn's accuser were "compelling and unwavering." They also were dismissive of French anger about the IMF chief's perp walk in handcuffs.

Now doubt has been cast on the alleged victim's credibility because of a previous rape claim and ties to a drug dealer. The whole case may collapse as a result. If prosecutors have overreached, the cost has been high. Strauss-Kahn spent almost six weeks under expensive house arrest and a cloud of public humiliation before he was released on Friday. He was forced to resign from the international organization he led amid economic upheaval in Greece. France may have lost a potential presidential candidate.

from The Great Debate:

A tale of two rape charges

By Naomi Wolf
The opinions expressed are her own.

With the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, then Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, New York City has abruptly become the scene of two very different official approaches to investigating sex-crime cases, one traditional and one new. The new approach so far appears to be reserved for Strauss-Kahn alone.

Consider the first case: the ongoing trial of two police officers, Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata, charged in the rape of a 27-year-old Manhattan woman. She was drunk, and, after helping her to enter her apartment, Moreno and Mata allegedly made a false emergency call so that they could return to her. At that point, the woman says, she woke periodically out of her intoxicated state to find herself being raped, face down, by Moreno, as Mata stood guard.

from The Great Debate:

How Lagarde should be appointed at the IMF

By Mohamed El-Erian
The opinions expressed are his own.

Eager to retain a historical but outmoded entitlement, European politicians seem to be coalescing around Christine Lagarde to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn as Managing Director of the IMF. Lagarde has the qualifications to successfully lead a multilateral institution that is central to the well being of the global economy. Her ability to do so, however, may critically depend on how she is appointed.

Lagarde has considerable skills and expertise; she has gained important experience in both the private and public sectors; and, judging from her stint as France’s Minister of Finance, she has navigated well the corridors of political power at the national and European levels.

from Chrystia Freeland:

Don’t confuse DSK’s sex life with assault

In the ‘‘Take Back the Night’’ marches I walked in in high school and college, one of my favorite chants was this one: ‘‘Whatever I wear, wherever I go, yes means yes and no means no.’’ That jingle was invented to popularize one of the most radical and important ideas of the second-wave feminists — that rape and promiscuity were entirely separate issues.

Some of the reaction to Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest on charges of attempted rape and sexual assault is making the same dangerous mistake of blurring the distinction between licentiousness and coercion — between sex, and sexual assault.

from The Great Debate:

DSK saga is not just a French thing

By Maureen Tkacik

Whatever transpired in Suite 2806 of the Midtown Sofitel early Saturday afternoon, it seems clearer with each passing hour that being accused of sexual assault is far from a “Black Swan” event in the life of DSK. In 2007, the journalist Tristane Banon told a TV talk show host he had wrestled her to the ground and torn off her clothes during an interview a few years earlier; the talk show host in turn allowed that he knew “fourteen” separate women with similar tales. DSK’s name was eventually edited out of the broadcast for largely legal reasons, but it surfaced the next year when the IMF was forced to launch an investigation into his affair with a subordinate.

Indeed, on Monday the phrase "Who hasn't been groped by Dominique Strauss-Kahn?" gained wide currency, even though it was first uttered (albeit in French) years ago by the actress Danièle Evenou.

from Breakingviews:

IMF should use crisis to toughen itself up

By Martin Hutchinson
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

WASHINGTON -- The International Monetary Fund has a chance to toughen itself up. Under Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director currently imprisoned in New York after being accused of sexual assault, the IMF's lending has multiplied, largely to basket cases like Greece. But recent loans have failed to force change while damaging other lenders' standing.

from The Great Debate:

Strauss-Kahn allegations are consequential for the global economy

By Mohamed A. El-Erian
The opinions expressed are his own.

This weekend's detention of the IMF's chief on allegations of sexual assault has implications that go well beyond the impact on Dominique Strauss-Kahn's (or, as he is commonly known, DSK) international prestige. They could also impact the IMF, France, market uncertainty and the well-being of the global economy.

We must wait to make a full assessment until we know the outcome of ongoing police investigations into allegations that, according to his lawyer, DSK intends to “contest vigorously.” Having said that, some commentators are already taking the view that the IMF could lose its managing director, and that France could lose a leading candidate for next year's presidential elections.