Thursday, July 21, 2011

Justice Breyer to Speak in French Tomorrow at Harvard Law School

Parlez-vous français? U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will speak in French with members of Tunisian civil society and legal community about the U.S. Constitution and its role in our democratic system. Watch a live stream of this web conference between Washington, DC and Tunis tomorrow, July 22, at 12:00pm EDT (16:00 GMT) right here on our Facebook page. Click on the “Live Events” tab to the left to tune in!
You can watch the speech live here.

The Deal


Filipetti-Mansouret e-mails

Details of e-mails between Aurélie Filipetti and Anne Mansouret have leaked:

Mansouret told Filipetti, then still a member of the Greens, that her daughter was going to file charges against DSK. Then Filipetti replied:

«Le peu que j'ai vu me montre à quel point le personnage est dangereux pour les femmes.» «Votre fille et vous pouvez compter sur mon soutien si besoin», ajoute-t-elle. Puis, à l'attention de Tristane Banon et de sa volonté de se tourner vers la justice: «Transmettez-lui mes félicitations.»
Le 26 décembre, dans un nouvel échange de courriers électroniques, Aurélie Filippetti, sollicitée par Anne Mansouret en quête d'un autre avocat pour sa fille, adresse avec amabilité quelques conseils: «Je pense qu'il est important pour elle de porter plainte, car cela transférera sa culpabilité sur lui et non plus sur elle.» «En outre, précise-t-elle encore, c'est aussi bénéfique pour d'autres femmes qui éventuellement pourraient être victimes du satyre.» C'est alors qu'elle livre une part de sa propre histoire, qui offre des similitudes avec celle de Tristane Banon: «Pour ma part, il m'avait invité à prendre un café pour discuter, à cette fameuse adresse. J'en avais parlé à un copain qui m'a mise en garde en m'interdisant pratiquement de m'y rendre. (…) Mais peut-être d'autres filles ont-elles été victimes des mêmes pratiques et peut-être parleront-elles.» Plus tard, elle recommandera à la mère de Tristane Banon le nom d'un conseil qu'elle juge de confiance.

Krugman: Europe Is Blowing It

Sounds awful:

The Telegraph has a leaked draft of the eurozone rescue plan for Greece. The financial engineering is Rube Goldbergish and unconvincing. But here’s what leaped out at me:
9. All euro area Member States will adhere strictly to the agreed fiscal targets, improve competitiveness and address macro-economic imbalances. Deficits in all countries except those under a programme will be brought below 3% by 2013 at the latest.
OK, so we’re going to demand harsh austerity in the debt-crisis countries; and meanwhile, we’re also going to have austerity in the non-debt-crisis countries.
Plus, the ECB is raising rates.
So demand will be depressed in both crisis and non-crisis economies; this will lead to a vigorous recovery through … what?
The Serious People are determined to destroy all the advanced economies in the name of prudence.

More from Tyler Cowen, who concludes by saying that it's time to play Brahms' German Requiem.

More positive view here.

Brigitte Guillemette's Story

Brigitte Guillemette is DSK's second wife and the godmother of his French accuser, Tristane Banon. Her version of the relationship between herself and Anne Mansouret and her daughter and Tristane Banon is very different from the version given by Mansouret and Banon. The two older women were not close friends, according to Guillemette, and she is Banon's "godmother" only because she was asked to accept as a favor to Mansouret, who claimed not to know any other baptized Catholics. Banon, moreover, barely knew Camille, the daughter of DSK and Guillemette, when she announced that Camille's father had attempted to rape her. Indeed, she had only two contacts with Camille, and it's not clear whether both or only the second occurred after the alleged attack, which Banon revealed during the second meeting. (Parenthetically, I find it quite strange that a woman who had been attacked by DSK would seek out his daughter, whom she barely knew, to inform her of her father's assault.) All of this is quite far from the account we had been hitherto given of the relationships among the four women.

There is also this curious passage in Guillemette's account: "J’ai rencontré Anne Mansoureh-Riahi (c’est ainsi qu’elle se présentait à l’époque) ..." Are we to infer that Mansouret changed her name to one that is "more French?" Mansouret was born in Iran. So the subtext of Guillemette's story is that she was doing a favor for an Iranian woman she barely knew and who knew no baptized Catholics capable of serving as godmother to her daughter (who was 18 at the time of her baptism).

DSK Accuser May File Charges in France

DSK's New York accuser may file rape charges against him in France, since French penal law "is applicable to crimes and misdemeanors committed by French citizens outside the territory of the Republic." One begins to see a legal strategy behind the sudden alliance of lawyers Thompson and Koubbi. The latter had initially refused to combine the two cases, but a concerted strategy would keep charges against DSK alive in France even if Banon's accusation is reclassified as sexual assault rather than rape and therefore dismissed because the statute of limitations has run out. With criminal charges still pending, then, no matter what happens in New York on the Sofitel case and Paris on the Banon case, both lawyers will have more leverage in pressing DSK for a civil--read financial--settlement.

Aubry Ahead in Deputy Support

Martine Aubry has the support of 45.1% of Socialist deputies, compared with only 27% for Hollande.

Greek Default Envisioned

Sarkozy and Merkel held an all-nighter last night, and the upshot seems to be that a partial Greek default is no longer off the table. This implies that private banks will have to accept substantial losses on their holdings of Greek sovereign debt, and issuers of credit default swaps on the defaulting debt will be obliged to pay. Such a move will no doubt be accompanied by a Eurozone guarantee of future Greek borrowing, to ensure that Greece is not frozen out of credit markets. With such a guarantee, Greece might be able to borrow at lower rates, which would be a major step toward putting the country in a position where it might conceivably be able to pay off its debts without further austerity measures, which would strain the political system to the breaking point. So, this time--after a tenth European summit to deal with the Greek crisis--it might just work. But no numbers have yet been released, and arithmetic matters. And to date, the Euromeisters have not demonstrated much of a gift for arithmetic.