x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

IMF needs to move on

The chief of the IMF is in legal hot water, but contrary to the media spotlight the more important story is how the monetary fund moves forward. Not all of DSK's ideas should be in the dock.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn had his detractors, but he also earned his supporters. As the head of the International Monetary Fund, he helped to spearhead the recovery of the global economy, and won the admiration of his staff - some of whom printed up "Yes we Kahn" T-Shirts.

Now it all appears to have come crashing down with his arrest in New York City on sexual assault charges. But contrary to the media circuses, the more important story is how the IMF moves forward. Not all of his ideas should be in the dock alongside Mr Strauss-Kahn.

He was among the strongest advocates for bailouts of the shaky EU economies, moves that, while unpopular, were seen by some economists as key steps that prevented a further debt crisis in the euro zone. His arrest - as Greece was caught in the throes of another round of debt negotiations and austerity measures - has been an unwelcome distraction.

The IMF has called on the EU to pursue "unrelenting" financial reform at the very top levels. As one analyst told the Washington-based newspaper Politico, the IMF under Mr Strauss-Kahn served as a "neutral referee in assessing fiscal and economic progress" across the euro zone. The IMF must continue to do the same for Europe.