Picture taken on May 16, 2011 in Paris of several front pages of French and Foreign newspapers showing IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who has been charged with sexual assault in the U.S.
Picture taken on May 16, 2011 in Paris of several front pages of French and Foreign newspapers showing IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who has been charged with sexual assault in the U.S. - 
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Kai Ryssdal: Dominique Strauss-Kahn -- the head of the International Monetary Fund -- is looking at five to 25 years in jail if he's convicted of the sexual assault charges filed against him this weekend. Bail was denied at a hearing in Manhattan today.

There is no way to gracefully turn this story from the alleged crime to what the markets were thinking, but given Strauss-Kahn's role in the global economy, that's exactly what happened. Our senior business correspondent Bob Moon reports.


Bob Moon: Just last week, a Bloomberg survey of international investors found 85 percent expect Greece to default on its debt -- that's a stark indicator of the urgency facing the International Monetary Fund in pushing for a resolution to the ongoing crisis.

As the former finance minister of France, Dominique Strauss-Kahn's authority on Europe's debt crisis has been widely respected. And his political clout had moved negotiations toward agree. Now these talks face new uncertainty.

David Andrew Singer: I don't think it's a do-or-die situation, but I do think it's just a terribly awkward time.

David Andrew Singer is a political science professor at MIT. He says as the world's lender of last resort, the IMF is critical in lining up bailouts.

Singer: I think if there is a new leader, whoever that person is, is going to have to be ready to be in the spotlight from day one, and really engaging in high-level discussions with leaders, you know, because issues with the Eurozone in particular are so sort of fragile right now.

At Yale University, professor Kenneth Rogoff, a former IMF economist, expects the organization to stay the course -- for now.

Kenneth Rogoff: It will be able to function, absolutely, because a lot of the decisions really had been taken already. But on the other hand, there's a lot more to come.

European finance ministers signed off on $110 billion in loans to Portugal today. But Rogoff says the "endgame" in Europe remains a long way off.

I'm Bob Moon for Marketplace.