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IMF’s Christine Lagarde convicted of financial negligence

Neil Hodge | January 11, 2017

In any other walk of life, a conviction for negligence would result in a prison sentence, being fired, or both. But not in politics, it seems.

Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)—the organisation that aims to promote better financial governance and economic stability around the world—was convicted by a special French court on 19 December on charges of “negligence by a person in position of public authority” while serving as French finance minister in 2007.

Accused of allowing the misuse of public funds—rather than actual corruption—Lagarde faced the prospect of being sentenced to a year in prison and a fine of €15,000. Though found guilty, there have been no punitive measures—not even a criminal record. Lagarde has kept her job, kept her freedom, kept her money, and has largely kept her reputation intact.

Indeed, hours after Lagarde’s conviction, the IMF’s executive board declared its “full confidence” in her,...

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