Dominique Strauss-Kahn sat down for an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with CNN’s Richard Quest Tuesday in Paris. The full interview will air Wednesday, July 10 at 2p ET/7p BST/8p CET on CNN International’s Quest Means Business.
On Europe: “(It is) an army of lions led by sheep.”
The perp walk: “I was angry. Because at this moment I didn’t understand what was going on, I didn’t understand why I was there.”
On the banking system in Europe: “(It is) sick. Very sick.”
Full transcript after the jump.
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On the ‘perp walk’
DSK: …the most terrible thing, frankly. Not only because it’s difficult to live; there are many things which are difficult to live with. The problem is it’s a moment where in all European, American society you’re supposed to be innocent, you’re supposed to be innocent and feel you’re convicted. And the perp-walk takes place at the moment where you’re supposed to be innocent. And so what happens is you just show to everybody as if you were a criminal, at the moment no one knows whether it’s true or not. Maybe you’re a criminal, maybe you’re not. And then you prove later on that it is just unfair to show people in that way to the rest of the world when you just don’t know what they have done.
Richard Quest: did you feel that at the time?
DSK: Well I was, I was angry. Because at this moment I didn’t understand what was going on, I didn’t understand why I was there. I was just understanding that something was going on that I didn’t control.
DSK: Well if you wanted me to tell you, if you want me to tell you that there is a crisis of leadership, I will tell you, there is. You know, there is some Arabic saying which is that an army of lions led by sheep will always be defeated by an army of sheep led by lion. And that is exactly where we are.
RQ: Sheep? Where you have lions being led by sheep?
DSK: I’m afraid that, um-
Richard Quest: The commission’s not up to it?
DSK: Some, ah, you can’t be that generous. Some leaders in Europe are perfectly up to date and know what they will have to do, but most- the European system is built in a way that no decision is made, that no hard decision can be made.
On the banking system in Europe
DSK: The Banking system in Europe … is… is sick. Very sick. Much more than people say. It had to be… really, er, cleaned up before growth will come back. And because most leaders are unable to make this decision … beyond the question of how much money traders, people, how much money they will make – that’s only a small part of the problem. If you don’t solve the problem of the banks in Europe, you won’t have growth anymore.