Socialist politician Ségolène Royal reacted angrily on Thursday to a magazine headline that named her as one of the "faces to slap" of 2011.

"/> Socialist politician Ségolène Royal reacted angrily on Thursday to a magazine headline that named her as one of the "faces to slap" of 2011.

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DOMINIQUE STRAUSS-KAHN

Royal anger over ‘face to slap’ headline

Socialist politician Ségolène Royal reacted angrily on Thursday to a magazine headline that named her as one of the "faces to slap" of 2011.

Royal anger over 'face to slap' headline
Screenshot

The headline was based on a poll conducted by the magazine which named the former presidential candidate as the most irritating politician of the year.

Royal denounced the “verbal aggression” and “violent character” of the magazine, reported daily newspaper Libération on Friday.

In the poll, Royal narrowly beat former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Green party politician Eva Joly to the dubious honour.

Ségolène Royal was selected by the Socialist party to be its presidential candidate in 2007. She lost out to current president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Royal is the president of the western Poitou-Charentes region and recently stood in primary elections to select the party’s candidate for the 2012 presidential vote.

She came fourth out of six candidates in a race that was won by her former partner and father of her four children, François Hollande.

Royal has threatened to make an official complaint about the magazine, complaining that the story amounted to an attack on her as a “mother, with such remarks being particularly obnoxious for children, even adults.”

She also complained that the magazine was a “public insult with regard to her functions as an elected official who carries out her duties with dignity and honesty,” and that the remarks were an “attack on her national and international reputation.”

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ECONOMY

World unprepared for next financial crisis: ex-IMF chief Strauss-Kahn

The world is less well equipped to manage a major financial crisis today than it was a decade ago, according to Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

World unprepared for next financial crisis: ex-IMF chief Strauss-Kahn
Former French Economy Minister and former managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Dominique Strauss-Kahn , poses during a photo session in Paris on Thursday. Photo: JOEL SAGET / AFP
In an interview with AFP, the now-disgraced Strauss-Kahn — who ran the fund at the height of the 2008 financial meltdown — also said rising populism across the world is a direct result of the crisis. 
 
Strauss-Kahn resigned as head of the IMF in 2011 after being accused of attempted rape in New York, although the charges were later dropped. He settled a subsequent civil suit, reportedly with more than $1.5 million.
 
Q: When did you become aware that a big crisis was brewing?
 
A: When I joined the IMF on Nov 1, 2007, it became clear quite quickly that things were not going well. That is why in January 2008, in Davos, I made a statement that made a bit of noise, asking for a global stimulus package worth two percent of each country's GDP. In April 2008, during the IMF's spring meetings, we released the figure of $1,000 billion that banks needed for their recapitalisation.
 
Q: Did the Bush administration grasp the danger of Lehman Brothers going bankrupt?
 
A: No, and that is why Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson decided not to save Lehman, because he wanted to make an example of it in the name of moral hazard. Like everybody else, he considerably underestimated the consequences. Allowing Lehman to go under was a serious mistake. Especially because only a week later they were forced to save the insurer AIG, which was much bigger.
 
Q: Ten years on, are we better equipped to deal with a crisis of such a magnitude?
 
A: No. We have made some progress, particularly in the area of banks' capital adequacy ratios. But that is not nearly enough. Imagine Deutsche Bank suddenly finding itself in difficulty. The eight percent of capital it has at its disposal are not going to be enough to solve the problem. The truth is that we are less well prepared now. Regulations are insufficient.
 
Q: How so?
 
A: After 2012-2013 we stopped talking about the need to regulate the economy, for example concerning the size of banks, or concerning rating agencies. We backtracked, which is why I am pessimistic about our preparedness. We have a non-thinking attitude towards globalisation and that does not yield positive results.
 
Q: Do we still have international coordination?
 
A: Coordination is mostly gone. Nobody plays that role anymore. Not the IMF and not the EU, and the United States president's policies are not helping. As a result, the mechanism that was created at the G20, which was very helpful because it involved emerging countries, has fallen apart. Ten years ago, governments accepted leaving that role to the IMF. I'm not sure it is able to play it today, but the future will tell.
 
Q: Do you believe that Donald Trump's election is a consequence of the crisis?
 
A: I believe so. I'm not saying that there was a single reason for Trump's election, but today's political situation is not unconnected to the crisis we lived through, both in the US with Trump and in Europe.
 
Q: Connected how?
 
A: One of the consequences of the crisis has been completely underestimated, in my opinion: the populism that is appearing everywhere is the direct outcome of the crisis and of the way that it was handled after 2011/2012, by favouring solutions that were going to increase inequalities.
 
Quantitative easing (by which central banks inject liquidity into the banking system) was useful and welcome. But it is a policy that is basically designed to bail out the financial system, and therefore serves the richest people on the planet.
 
When there's a fire, firemen intervene and there is water everywhere. But then you need to mop up, which we didn't do. And because this water flowed into the pockets of some, and not of everyone, there was a surge in inequality.
 
By AFP's Antonio Rodriguez