Lagarde to keep job as IMF chief despite negligence conviction

IMF chief Christine Lagarde will keep her job despite being convicted on Monday by a French court for negligence over a €400 million payout to tycoon Bernard Tapie.

Lagarde to keep job as IMF chief despite negligence conviction

The International Monetary Fund said on Monday it retains “full confidence” in Christine Lagarde's ability to continue to lead the organization, despite her conviction for negligence in a French court.

The fund's board met in the wake of the court decision finding her guilty in a 2008 case  dating back to her tenure as French finance minister. It took into account all factors including her “outstanding leadership of the Fund and the wide respect and trust for her leadership globally.”

“In this context, the Executive Board reaffirms its full confidence in the managing director's ability to continue to effectively carry out her duties,” the board said in a statement.

“The Executive Board looks forward to continuing to work with the managing director to address the difficult challenges facing the global economy.”

Lagarde told reporters shortly after the IMF statement that while she was not satisfied with the court decision, she would not appeal.

“There comes a point in time when one just has to stop, turn the page, and move on and continue to work with those who have put their trust in me,” Lagarde said. “I will put all my energies and enthusiasm into this role.”

She also thanked the board and IMF staff for their support during a “painful” process.

Support from France, US

The French government earlier Monday expressed its confidence in Lagarde continuing at the helm of the IMF, and US Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew issued a statement of support immediately after the board decision.

“The United States joins the IMF Executive Board in reaffirming our full support of Managing Director Lagarde,” Lew said. “She is a strong leader of the IMF, and we have every confidence in her ability to guide the Fund at a critical time for the global economy.”

The French court found Lagarde guilty of negligence over a massive payout to the tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2008, but she will not be fined or face prison, nor will the decision create a criminal record.

The case stemmed from Lagarde's decision in 2007 to allow a dispute over sale of the Adidas sports brand to the state-owned Credit Lyonnais bank to be resolved by a private arbitration panel, and then failing to challenge the result.

The court cleared her of negligence over her decision to refer the matter to arbitration but upheld the charge over her failure to contest the award.

She noted that the public prosecutor had sought to have the charges dismissed.


IMF chief Lagarde to face trial over €400m payout

IMF chief Christine Lagarde will face trial on a charge of negligence over a whopping €4.3 million payout to tycoon Bernard Tapie.

IMF chief Lagarde to face trial over €400m payout

International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde has been sent to trial over her handling of a massive state payout to French tycoon Bernard Tapie during her time as finance minister, a legal source said Thursday.

Lagarde had been charged with negligence in the case in which Tapie was awarded more than €400 million ($433 million) in a 2008 dispute with the Credit Lyonnais bank over the sale of sportswear giant Adidas in 1993.

Tapie was ordered to pay back the money at the beginning of this month.

A statement from the IMF said Lagarde would fight the trial order and that the organisation had confidence in her.

The International Monetary Fund's executive board, representing 188 member nations, “continues to express its confidence in the managing director's ability to effectively carry out her duties,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said in a statement.

Lagarde, who has headed the IMF since July 2011, was charged with negligence in the handling of the 2008 government payout to French tycoon Bernard Tapie during her tenure as finance minister.

Tapie was awarded more than 400 million euros ($433 million) in a 2008 dispute with the bank Credit Lyonnais over the sale of sportswear giant Adidas in 1993.

Since the opening of a French investigation into the handling of the Tapie case in August 2011, the IMF has steadfastly reaffirmed its confidence in Lagarde, whose mandate expires next July and who recently has said she is open to serving a second five-year term.

“The board will continue to be briefed on this matter,” Rice said.