And one more bites the dust. Last week as per Financial Times Rajaratnam was convicted of charges related to insider trading fuelling speculations on what would happen to ex McKinsey head Rajat Gupta. What intrigues me is why these men who after painstakingly building their careers and making all the right moves on the corporate chess board, come sliding down the slippery pole just when it is time to hang their cap after a stellar career.
The Managing Director of IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, now faces charges of committing a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and sexual abuse, all of which he has denied so far. Like in all such cases and America has witnessed several of them, there could be two sides to the story.
Power corrupts and can corrupt absolutely! People who reach the top have a sense of brazenness and are deluded by the notion that they are invincible. I see an analogy here to CS Lewis’s Trilemma from a recent article by Ash Benington on Rajat Gupta. Lewis the author and Oxford Don who wrote the children’s book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, was also a devout Christian. According to Lewis since Jesus said he was the Son of God, there were only three possibilities: He was either Lord, Lunatic, or a Liar. People who reach the Olympian heights of corporate and social life forget that they are humans and start behaving like “Sons of God”. Their behaviour falls into one of the three categories to be able to commit crimes as astonishingly brazen; a behavior that can only be described as Lunatic or that which is morally impaired.
A walk down Strauss- Kahn’s success trail also shows that he has been dogged by scandals He did err a couple of times despite his celebrated contributions.
In 1999, as France’s finance minister Strauss-Kahn was forced to resign the post amid a fraud scandal in which he was accused of charging for consulting work he never did while working as a corporate lawyer. He was cleared of wrongdoing and won re-election to Parliament.
In 2008 he was embroiled in controversy over accusations that he had had a relationship with one of his subordinates, Piroska Nagy, senior official in the IMF’s Africa Department. The IMF hired a law firm to launch an investigation. Ms. Nagy left the fund and joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He was cleared of harassment, favoritism and abuse of power following an inquiry – and kept his job, though he later apologized for an ‘error of judgement’.
Strauss-Kahn, who was rejected by the French Socialists as their presidential candidate in 2006, gained international recognition as France’s finance minister from 1997-99.
He is credited with preparing France for the adoption of the euro by reducing its deficit and persuading then-Prime Minister Lionel Jospin to sign up to an EU pact of fiscal prudence.
A former economics professor, Strauss-Kahn joined the Socialist party in 1976 and was elected to parliament in 1986 from the Val-d’Oise district, north of Paris.He went on to become mayor of Sarcelles, a working-class immigrant suburb of Paris.
A former French finance minister and member of the Socialist Party who served in Parliament, Strauss-Kahn was considered a potential challenger to French President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year’s election. It is not very unlikely that Strauss-Kahn was in a position where he didn’t please everybody and that this could be an attempt to taint his reputation.
The plot thickens with allegations by writer Tristane Banon that he attempted to rape her in 2002. Some say there is something not right about this case: this is not a usual sexual misdemeanor, this is aggravated rape that the IMF ex Chief has been charged of. Is it likely that a man so intelligent and in such a position would risk family, career and future?
Polls released in France on Wednesday showed that 57% of respondents thought the Socialist politician was definitely or probably the victim of a plot. How likely is it that a man who has been acclaimed as a muscular advocate for aiding Greece, Ireland and Portugal as they fought to avoid insolvency, jump on a 32-year female house-keeper in a Manhattan penthouse suite? If this is true then this Son of God has definitely demonstrated Lunatic behavior. The result is here to see – a sharp slide from a 3000 USD suite to a cell at New York’s Rider Island. Or is this Strauss Kahn’s Spaghetti Karma? (Read the article Spaghetti Karma at www.rodinghood.com by Alok Kejriwal).
After all few have climbed the greasy pole without having soiled themselves with some grease. This one was just a little too slippery tarnishing the institution of the IMF.
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