The editor of the new French version of news website the Huffington Post insisted Monday that her private life as wife of shamed IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will not affect its coverage.

"/> The editor of the new French version of news website the Huffington Post insisted Monday that her private life as wife of shamed IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will not affect its coverage.

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DSK wife says private life separate from HuffPo editorship

The editor of the new French version of news website the Huffington Post insisted Monday that her private life as wife of shamed IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will not affect its coverage.

DSK wife says private life separate from HuffPo editorship
Anne Sinclair (November 2010) on Le Grand Journal by Canal +

At the launch of the site, Anne Sinclair, who was a well-known journalist in France before gaining worldwide celebrity as Strauss-Kahn’s grimly loyal partner, said: “I do not mix private and professional life.”

Eyebrows were raised when US millionaire socialite and liberal blogger Arianna Huffington chose Sinclair to head the French version of her site, after her starring role in last year’s most sensational political scandal.

Strauss-Kahn was forced to resign from the International Monetary Fund in May last year after he was charged with sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid. Charges were later dropped, but he remains dogged by scandal.

Sinclair, a former television anchor and the multi-millionaire heiress to an art fortune, stood by her husband throughout — funding his exorbitant defence costs — and is now making her own return to public life.

Speaking with Huffington at a packed Paris news conference, she said that neither her relationship with her husband — who admits living a free sexual life — nor her support for his Socialist Party would influence her work.

“It’s very clear. I said it to all my team. They have known this since the first day. It’s the first thing that I said to them. All important news will be treated normally, as it would be treated elsewhere,” she said.

“Anything that should be on the front page will be on the front page,” she insisted when pressed, before emphasising: “Today my husband has no public role. That has not passed you by.”

On Monday, Le Huffington Post’s inaugural front page splash hailed Sunday’s launch of Socialist candidate Francois Hollande’s presidential campaign as a “successful lift-off.”

Hollande is President Nicolas Sarkozy’s main challenger, three months ahead of a tight French presidential election, and Sinclair’s site is expected to lean left, despite employing both left and right-wing pundits.

The first edition carried no news about Strauss-Kahn, who is enjoying a rare period away from the front pages but may soon be forced to testify to a judicial investigation into an alleged French prostitution ring.

Reader comments under Sinclair’s first leading article appeared to have been carefully moderated, with dozens of congratulatory messages, little criticism and no insults nor direct references to her husband.

Huffington said Anne Sinclair “was at the top of my list” to edit the French site, and added: “It is really with great gratitude to this amazing team that we launch Le Huffington Post today.”

The site’s layout is closely modelled on its US parent, with the same design and logo but with a distinctly French flavour to its mix of opinion columns, aggregated news content and interactive news features.

Already dubbed “Le HuffPo,” it is a partnership between leading French daily Le Monde, the US parent firm and banker Matthieu Pigasse. It replaces a former French interactive news website, Le Post, owned by Le Monde.

Huffington launched her original American website in 2005 and sold it to Internet giant AOL in 2011 for $315 million (246 million euros). It boasts 37 million readers per month in the United States.

The size of the buyout surprised many observers, as the HuffPo’s gossipy mix of celebrity, political and lifestyle stories were largely links to other outlets, fleshed out with unpaid columnists.

It has become a major advertising platform, however, and now has British and Canadian editions. The British version has not been a hit, however, and it remains to be seen whether the formula will catch on in France.

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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