IMF-DSK scandal – Dominique Strauss-Khan

Posted on | mei 17, 2011 | No Comments

After he was arrested in New York on sexual assault charges on 15 May 2011, DSK has been the subject of tremendous media coverage in the past 24hours. His story seems to have captured peoples’ imagination more than any scandal in which Silvio Berlusconi has been involved. My take on the DSK scandal is that the IMF-World Bank board chose him to head the IMF. DSK did not appoint himself. The French Socialists chose him to be their presumptive leader to challenge Sarkozy.

Although the IMF-World Bank board and the French Socialists knew of DSK’s past not only the sex scandals, but that he has a flamboyant lifestyle that put ‘gansta rappers to shame, they still chose this particular individual who is really a reflection of their institutions. Why choose this man over many other low-key candidates?

One could argue that World Bank president Robert Zoellick, who was an executive with that ‘honest and upright financial institution Goldman Sachs whose history must have earned it a place in Dante’s Inferno‘, is probably worse than DSK. (see my postings (2 Sept. 2010, 9 Nov. 2010) on Goldman Sachs Goldman, a case that permitted Greece to borrow €1 billion without adding to its public debt figures in 2001, as part of ‘swaps’ in which Goldman was involved in a number of countries and which are partly responsible for the global recession of 2008-present.)

The focus should not be on DSK, Robert Zoellick, or individuals heading powerful institutions or political parties, but on the institutions that these people run. The problem is structural with the institutions themselves and the purpose that they serve. Would the IMF and the French Socialist party not be the same no matter who was in charge? But why DSK as IMF Managing Director, and not some unassuming economist with a clean record? Who better than a famous French Socialist like DSK, corrupt and decadent to the core, to project the image that the IMF, which has been impoverishing nations and forcing them into cyclical debt crises with its austerity policies in the last fifty years?

Having DSK in charge, the IMF could claim that it is not headed by a right winger, but a self-proclaimed leftist who enjoyed institutional legitimacy of an otherwise conservative party parading under a Socialist mask. In short, whether Conservative or Socialist, policies are the same! Who better to co-opt the rest of the Socialists and Laborites around the world, most of who are no different than the Conservatives once they take power; who else but a Socialist to deradicalize the working class and middle class that are opposed to austerity?

DSK is the sick byproduct of capitalism in its triumphant co-optation of Socialists who still have the audacity to retain the leftist title while pursuing neo-liberal policies; who have no shame in trying to mobilize workers and the middle class in order to destroy the democratic social fabric; who have the nerve to claim that they are carrying out the legacy of 19th century Socialism while they are delivering that honorable political tradition to destruction.

Unfortunately the ratings-hungry media is focused on tantalizing and sensational aspects of the DSK, instead of IMF policies carried out to benefit finance capital and impacting the lives of millions of people around the world. The legal system, which DSK has the financial means and political influence to tame, will decide his personal fate. Who will do something about the institution that DSK headed and which decides the fate of countries around the world (middle class and labor) that the IMF helps to impoverish in order to strengthen finance capital?

Our modern culture conditioned by the corporate media has conditioned the mass mind to think in terms of the politics of personality, instead of the politics of policy> In other words, people are more focused on the scandalous details of a politician’s or a powerful individual’s personal life than they are of policies that individual pursued that potentially had disastrous impact on the lives of millions. The politics of personality is another way that modern society has managed to keep people anesthetized to real issues, instead distracting them by juicy talk-show type of gossipy details.

AUTHOR: Jon Kofas
E-MAIL: jonkofas [at]


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