As he sits in jail under suicide watch, pressure is mounting on Dominique Strauss-Kahn to resign as the International Monetary Fund's managing director. Charged with sex crimes for an alleged Saturday attack against a hotel maid, Strauss-Kahn, 62, is being held without bail at New York's Rikers Island. Among those who suggest it would be best for the global economy if Strauss-Kahn stepped down are several European finance ministers, U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and even an IMF board member. Can Strauss-Kahn hang onto power?
Guilty or not, he can no longer lead: It's "just a matter of time" before Strauss-Kahn steps aside, says Steven Pearlstein in The Washington Post. Even if he's not guilty, "the damage to his reputation has been done." Thankfully, the IMF's deep bench of economists can continue to conduct "business as usual," even as the Fund struggles to handle Greece's massive debt crisis.
"Steven Pearlstein: The problem with IMF's plan to fix Europe's debt crisis"
The IMF needs to find a permanent replacement soon: Not only should the "obviously" compromised Strauss-Kahn step down, the IMF needs to get a long-range succession plan in place, says Geithner, as quoted by Bloomberg News. The very capable John Lipsky, the fund's second-in-command, is running the organization for now, but he's planning to leave at the end of August. The IMF needs a leader who's in it for the long haul.
"Geithner urges IMF to 'formally' appoint an interim leader"
Strauss-Kahn should step down now, but will he? The IMF boss "is almost certainly on his way out," say Bradley Klapper and Christopher S. Rugaber for the Associated Press. So now, the real question "is whether he'll go willingly." The IMF chief may want to delay his resignation, since stepping down "too soon could feed a public perception of guilt." Some lawyers believe taking a "leave of absence" could allow him to save face as he prepares to stand trial.
"Strauss-Kahn seems on way out, one way or another"