Friday, July 1, 2011

L'Affaire Strauss-Kahn

Il n'y a aucune coincidence dans la (haute) finance (pronounce in French for maximum rhyming effect).

Well, well, well... the prosecution is furiously back-pedalling on its charges against Mr. Strauss-Kahn.  It seems the chambermaid is not exactly the unspoilt lily of veracity she claimed to be.  As the Reuters article in the link puts it: "Case against Strauss-Kahn near collapse".

Being in the field for over a quarter century I have learned, often the hard way, that weird coincidences simply do not exist in finance.  If it seems too good (or too bad) to be true, it is safe to bet that it's not true.  

So, let's make no mistake here: there were way too many and powerful interested parties that wanted Mr. Strauss-Kahn out of the way.  Who?  In Latin, we ask: qui bono? (who stands to benefit?).

I'm not going to bother with the obvious French presidential race political stuff.  Instead, I think it was NOT a coincidence that the European debt crisis got much worse right after Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a confirmed euro-booster, got arrested and paraded publicly in manacles.

I'll go back to watching summer sunsets, now.  But I think the summer is about to get much, much hotter from here on.


  1. Hey Hellasious, Good to hear from you again.

    "I'll go back to watching summer sunsets, now. But I think the summer is about to get much, much hotter from here on."

    Sounds like you are on a Spanish beach with a lot of lovely ladies running about.

  2. Hi Hell,
    How fitting to be back on your blog with THIS POST.
    I am taking Tocqueville's "Democracy in America" on vacation with me.
    All that luscious, intelligent, lyric prose in French.
    A genius, Tocqueville.
    And we have tons of atomes crochus, as we say here.
    Enjoy those sunsets.
    I will be sticking my head in the stream, and listening to the water run through my ears.
    God... this country is getting crazier by the minute.
    Civilization SUCKS, guys...
    And since the French have this knack for taking BAD AMERICAN IDEAS and multiplying them exponentially, can you imagine WHAT OUR ENLIGHTENMENT CORRUPTION LOOKS LIKE ??
    On the really down days I dream of expatriating.. AGAIN...

  3. No. There is nothing in that reuters report to detract from the allegation of rape.

    The most serious suggestion was that $100k was deposited into her account just after the alleged events. Didn't happen.

    Her charge still stands, although it will be very hard to prove because it's her word against his. US prosecutors clearly have doubts, but their scrutiny won't let up.

    And is there any central bank statement over the past four years that beats this for sliminess?

    "Nina Mitz, a former senior adviser to Strauss-Kahn at the French Ministry of Finance, said: "Today's stunning news can only make us regret that so much talent may have been wasted at a time when we all very much needed it.""

    That's like saying Gordon Brown saved the World and should have been appointed head of the IMF. Oh wait - something worse happened, Lagarde got it.

    Now there's a serious case of rape.

  4. Talk about reversal of fortune... For me the case says more about the role of the press and politicians than has been given attention. I've just seen the New York Post this morning again refer to Strauss-Kahn as a "dirty frog." I teach just outside Dachau where those referred to as "Dirty Jews" or other such epithets were sent after being castigated and the masses whipped into a frenzy. The editor of the main such rag, Der Stuermer, was hanged at Nuremberg for this very reason. Just like Streicher, this reprehensible writer uses emotive language whilst ignoring facts and judgement to whip up the crowds. How on earth can the US, a country that seems to be falling further and further into the abyss of ignorance, extremism and reaction, allow such racist language in a daily newspaper? And then what did New York’s mayor say? If he didn’t want to be escorted through a throng of reporters in handcuffs- tired, dishevelled, unshaven and hungry- he shouldn’t have done the crime? Looks like maybe he didn’t do the crime. Looks like Bloomberg is not a fan of due process or any of the other little hallmarks laid down in our common law since 1215. Will he be apologising? I would be most surprised as my impression of American politicians is that they will say anything, go on TV to do anything, and disseminate obscene photos of themselves to all and sundry electronically and never apologise for their “mistakes” until enough people have been damaged by their irresponsibility.

  5. Whatever the truth about DSK, the charges against him, and their timing lend to great skepticism. I submit (as just one piece of evidence) the following:

    DSK was alleged to have forced the chambermaid to engage in oral sex.

    Um, class, have you considered the great difficulty in forcing another adult to have oral sex...

    (a member-no pun intended-of the class raises his hand)

    Um, yes, Mr. Bobbitt?

    I see. Well, that's sounds very painful, Mr. Bobbitt, very painful indeed. But, at the risk of sounding callous, I think you got what you deserved.

  6. Completely AppalledJuly 4, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    The conversation was recorded. The man was among a number of people who had made multiple cash deposits, totaling around $100,000, into the woman's bank account over the last two years, The New York Times said.

    I normally rally behind the alledged victim, but I have to admit that this is odd...

  7. This incident seems... totally political to me.
    But in all fairness... what is NOT political ?
    In times where the tremendous opposition between the OLD WORLD and the NEW is once again at the forefront (like in that extremely unpleasant incident in 1793, was it ? when the French deputies attempted to kill "the King" by killing... the King, despite the age old dictum that goes... "Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi"...surreal, my friends), we are revving up for another episode of the French Revolution...
    As if the previous ones had not shed enough blood, already.
    France is the country that gave US absolute monarchy, French style AND.. the French Revolution.
    Tocqueville didn't see ANY coincidence in the connection.
    Lucky the American public has Internet and not... PITCHFORKS.
    Maybe since we've been domesticated to death there will be less or even no, bloodshed ?
    Maybe we will have a VIRTUAL French Revolution this time ?
    Anything can happen. No predictions can possibly match.. "reality", right ?

  8. 1) cui bono in my Latin class
    2) From what I understand he wanted ato induce a (small) Greek debt haircut and Geithner did not. Is that correct ?
    3) Sarkozy was happy with it
    4) The quick way he was arrested and the intimidating way of imprisonment
    5) He was not released before stepping back. By then at least the bank account details must have been clear for investigators ....

    His personal qualities (or lack thereof) are not relevant in his context.

  9. So many bank accounts, so little time.

  10. Glad to see you're still alive and hopefully well. The coincidence and timing is so very very suspicious. There was a great analysis piece BBC Radio 4 about the US debt and the brinkmanship that may result in a default. The world is going to hell in a hand basket and no one is paying any attention, even those who are supposedly elected to do exactly that.

  11. ... Runs home to rewatch the west wing to see what happens next...

  12. Hey Hell..
    I have a book suggestion for you.
    It is called "Lucy Gayheart", by Willa Cather. A novel...
    If you read it carefully, and NOT JUST FOR DIVERSION, then you will get great insight into the opposing forces in our world, and why PUTTING EVERYTHING UP FOR SALE AND STICKING A PRICE TAG ON IT BOTTOMS OUT MONEY ITSELF...along with making ALL OF US work FOR MONEY too...the democratic ideal, in sum...
    Much more interesting than Gustave Le Bon, I think...
    Novels are such fun ways of learning... the dry and stuffy authors who have to explain everything to us... they lack imagination...(me too, by the way, mea culpa)

  13. Now it's Italy's turn? And they all run for cover in US treasury bonds? Surreal.

  14. Good article. Now is the time to get out of debt.


    looks like they are following your playbook.... :)

  16. Of all the times for Hellasious to take a break from blogging, he decides to do it when THIS is happening to Italy and Spain.

    What are they going to do? Have Germany buy back the debt?