DGI Brief - Dec 19, 2016
- WORLD: Christine Lagarde received a vote of “full confidence” from IMF’s executive board after French court found her guilty of 1 count of negligence for her role in a 2008 case when she served as France’s finance minister. Why it matters: The case centered on a $425-million arbitration award to Bernard Tapie, a politically connected tycoon, over a botched sale of Adidas brand in the 1990s. Lagarde was found guilty of not contesting the unusual award & not ordering regular courts to settle the legal battle. The French court did note that she was enthralled in saving France in the 2008 financial crisis at the time of the case & took her “personality & national & international reputation” into consideration in Monday’s ruling. IMF can now continue under her competent leadership as it addresses multiple global crises. Good news.
- DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO is on edge as the midnight deadline of President Joseph Kabila’s mandate passes. >41 opposition members & activists were arrested & internet connections were interrupted sporadically. Why it matters: DRC’s constitution allows President Kabila, in power since 2001, to stay on until his successor is elected, which is the point of contention because elections will likely not be set until 2018. The officials claim that much more time is needed to update voter rolls & make all the preparations. Opposition groups see this as a thinly veiled attempt to keep Kabila in power. He is known to have amassed large amounts of wealth from DRC’s mineral mining industries. The concerns about violence erupting are high given DRC’s history. To date, no one has been held accountable for the deaths of many protesters in September. May the fears never substantiate.
- BOLIVIA: President Evo Morales got his party’s backing to run for a 4th Presidential term despite the country’s constitution that allows only 2 consecutive terms. Why it matters: Bolivia’s 1st indigenous president has been in office since 2005, re-elected 2x because his first term did not count as a full 5-year term (Bolivia changed its constitution in 2009). This February, Morales narrowly lost a referendum bid to again revise the constitution & be allowed to run in 2019. With rising protectionism, populism etc., changing the rules around the world for leaders to stay in power for decades is a dangerously slippery slope. He may be a great president, Mr. Morales, but change is necessary for progress …plus most importantly half of the voters rejected his bid & they deserve to be heard.
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