Poor Mr. Strauss-Kahn. The dirty old man who has been heading up the IMF seems to have gotten his dongle caught in a wringer and instead of being the next President of France he seems headed for being the plate du jour in some New York state pen.
There’s much one can say about the repercussions his arrest and detention might have just as the IMF delves deeper into the European debt crisis. I’ll leave that to the business writers.
I’m more interested in his person.
As a journalist, you soon learn it’s the little things that give away the big story. I am fascinated that this creep got caught while staying in a $3,000 a night hotel in Manhattan. Excuse me, but who the fug does he think he is? He’s supposed to be the symbol of world economic responsibility. HaHaHa.
As we all know, the IMF is notorious for imposing what are politely called “structural adjustment” programs on any country, especially of the Third World variety, that it can get its hands on. This high-falutin’ terminology always boils down to the same simple and crude formula: slash social spending, roll back government subsidies and balance the books on the backs of the poor while transferring wealth upward. Raise the bus and gas fares to pay off the foreign debt to the G-8.
You’d think that a guy in charge of dishing out this bitter medicine would have the basic decency of not openly flaunting his own regal privilege and might limit himself to, say, a nice $500 a night suite at the Park Lane. Given NYC hotel rates, that seems at least somewhere in the cushy above-the-hoi-polloi ballpark.
But three G’s a night? You gotta be kidding.
Here is a man contemptuous of women, contemptuous of the poor and probably fairly contemptuous of himself.
The nice part is that his lodging arrangements have now been radically downgraded. Held without bail, Mr. Strauss-Kahn is now locked up in a cell in the crowded and notorious Rikers Island prison.
It’s not that bad. He and the 11,000 other inmates there do have access to room service. I doubt, however, that Mr. Strauss-Kahn will find the cuisine quite to his liking.