After Nicolas Sarkozy is defeated, Christine Lagarde (IMF Managing Director) may be the most recognizable French person in the world.
Her background is exemplary and known to everyone.
She was the French Minister of Finance, Minister of Agriculture (all of one month) and also the Minister of Commerce and Industry.
She is a lawyer and the first woman ever to become Minister of Economic Affairs of a G8 economy, and of course, the first woman to lead the IMF.
However, most people are unaware that Lagarde is rumored to have a love of magic, most especially the sleight of hand.
In fact, it could be construed that the main reason she was selected to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn as IMF director was because she had learned the great magical secrets from the masters of the past.
Think how elephants were paraded on stage only to disappear in the twinkling of an eye, tigers turned into beautiful women who disappeared and then reappeared at the back of a theater, and my favorite, David Copperfield’s disappearing Boeing 747.
These were all illusions that we knew were just that, magical by their very nature and we believed because we wanted to believe.
By implementing her very own supernatural charm, Lagarde has certainly done the master magicians proud.
With hat in hand she has sought out countries such as the U.S., Japan, UK, and a host of others who all share the same indebted quagmire, in exchange for a promise.
The promise is to increase support in the IMF’s efforts to thwart the European meltdown. She has not asked for, nor received any cash at all, simply a promise to contribute money that none of the contributors have.
Somehow, the world’s mainstream press, politicians, and financial pundits have looked into Lagarde’s bag of tricks and have been convinced the promises are, in fact, real cash. That’s definitely sleight of hand at its finest.
However, if we examine the magic up close, we’ll see that countries are promising to deliver something they don’t own to countries that will never qualify to receive it.
In order to provide it, these countries must delve further into debt which will require more aid from certain entities such as the IMF.
As long as the circle keeps circling and promises remain promises the illusion will continue until it doesn’t.
Master magician Lagarde has put elephants, tigers, and even a 747 to shame. Indeed, she’s starting to rank right up there with the other great illusionists of our time including Obama, Bernanke, Sarkozy, and Merkel, just to name a few.
Without a doubt, Harry Houdini would have been very proud.