A lot of ink has been spilled on the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn for allegedly attempting to rape a chambermaid at his hotel. What's a little surprising is how much of that ink has been spilled on the financial details of his trip: the $3,000 a night hotel room, the special show-up-and-fly-first class deal he apparently had with Air France. Why does this seem to be the lead story?
Mr Strauss-Kahn was respected by both Angela Merkel (whom he had planned to visit on the weekend when he was arraigned) and by George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister. He supported the view, also held by the European Central Bank, that a eurozone member should not rush into default. The eurozone clearly needed the IMF's technical competences in dealing with its sovereign debt crises - a set of skills largely absent in the European institutions. It also needed the IMF's co-financing. But the IMF's single most important influence in eurozone crisis resolution has been political. In a situation marked by a lack of political leadership, the IMF filled a vacuum.