On Monday, exactly a year will have passed since Dominique Strauss Kahn's arrest on charges of trying to rape a maid in a luxury New York hotel room.

"/> On Monday, exactly a year will have passed since Dominique Strauss Kahn's arrest on charges of trying to rape a maid in a luxury New York hotel room.

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One year on: things only get worse for DSK

On Monday, exactly a year will have passed since Dominique Strauss Kahn's arrest on charges of trying to rape a maid in a luxury New York hotel room.

One year on: things only get worse for DSK

Those charges were dropped and in September the French politician and freshly resigned head of the International Monetary Fund returned to Paris a free man.

Supporters thought this consummate mover and shaker could still recover, perhaps become champion of France’s Socialist Party and defeat the vulnerable President Nicolas Sarkozy in upcoming elections.

A Socialist did beat Sarkozy last week — but it wasn’t Strauss-Kahn.

Instead, Strauss-Kahn will watch Francois Hollande sworn in as president on Tuesday, and will only be able to think: “That could have been me.”

The fabulous life of power and privilege Strauss-Kahn enjoyed up to May 14th last year has been firmly yanked away.

He has not set foot again in the United States, where he once enjoyed a luxury lifestyle as head of the IMF. And while the criminal charges have been dropped, the maid’s dogged lawyers are pursuing a civil lawsuit for unspecified damages.

Strauss-Kahn, whose high-powered legal team deftly undermined the maid’s criminal case last year, was helpless earlier this month when a judge rejected his claim to diplomatic immunity, ordering the civil trial to go ahead.

For the first time in many years, Strauss-Kahn is experiencing life as an ordinary man whose time in the limelight is only tinged with bad memories.

In his native France, life is even more fraught.

At first it was assumed he would find refuge on home soil. Supporters painted Strauss-Kahn as the real victim, an honorable statesman abused by an out-of-control US judicial system.

But then a new sex scandal erupted and this time it was in France.

If US sex crime charges didn’t quite kill his career, French pimping charges apparently did.

The silver-haired VIP, the world figure and one-time president-in-waiting was accused of leading a double life in which prostitutes — “luggage,” he called them in a text message — were ferried to orgies.

Strauss-Kahn denied involvement in a prostitution ring. He said he thought the young women at those orgies were there voluntarily.

Strauss-Kahn then played the ultimate victim card. In the midst of the fevered French election he gave an interview suggesting that Sarkozy had orchestrated his political demise.

But that appeared to have had little effect other than to inflict collateral damage on his wife Anne Sinclair, an heiress and TV news personality.

She’d loyally stood by her disgraced husband throughout the scandals — and used her vast wealth to help foot the multi-million-dollar tab in New York for lawyers, security, investigators and luxury residences.

But her star is also falling. In the first round of the French election she was a consultant to BFM-TV. In the second she was not.

“The serenity was gone,” BFM-TV’s boss Guillaume Dubois said delicately. “It was better for everyone for her not to be present.”

Almost invisible a year later is the Guinean maid whose accusation touched off the drama.

Nafissatou Diallo gave a string of interviews last year to push her case against Strauss-Kahn. Now her lawyers are keeping her under wraps.

They are playing a long game that will keep Strauss-Kahn from getting comfortable quickly: the trial may not even start for about 15 months, according to the presiding judge.

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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