IMF, international aid: screwed

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DSK.jpgDominique Strauss-Kahn is an economist, not a lawyer, but I nonetheless feel that he would have done well to have held himself to the lawyer's standard of avoiding even the appearance of impropriety

Without weighing in on his guilt or innocence, I feel compelled to condemn the apparent impropriety in which he engaged.  I do not refer merely to the sexual assault charge, but more broadly to the situation of the head of the IMF being accused of coercing sex from a Guinean refugee granted asylum in the U.S. and working as a hotel housekeeper.  The symbolism is unmistakable: the IMF rapes Africa.

Regardless of the outcome of the legal inquiry now underway, DSK has sunk the credibility of his organization and its mission.  The IMF is now an organization that overpays horny white men so they can fly first class and wear $7,000 suits and, when they get out of those suits, rape hard-working, devout, socially-disadvantaged people of color. 

And by extension, the same applies to the World Bank, the UN or, for that matter, USAID.  They are no different.

One's opinion of the IMF (or any of the other foregoing named institutions) - whether for good or for ill - is no matter.  The IMF is a public institution, and one that exerts control over much of the global economy and its wealth.  As such, the ethics of its institutional behavior, and the actions of its representatives, must be impeccable.  Public institutions owe the public guarantees that their operations are ethical; otherwise they are illegitimate and have no claim to public funds. 

To have betrayed this obligation to the public so flamboyantly and vulgarly is unforgivable.  No verdict of innocence can expunge this breach.  Whatever else DSK may have done, he has set back the cause of international development.

(Image of DSK from The Telegraph)

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This page contains a single entry by Maya published on May 18, 2011 1:58 AM.

Happiness is not all was the previous entry in this blog.

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