Odd French behaviour in the US, Episode 4,910: Descoings found dead, Lagarde still at large.

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Senior Conseil d’Etat member and pro-Sarkozy educational reformer Richard Descoings was found dead in his New York hotel room around 1pm NY time yesterday (Tuesday). Drugs, and evidence of alcohol consumption, were found in his suite. Descoings himself was in the nude.

“We are satisfied that more than one other person was in the room with Mr Descoings,” said a senior NYPD source. The victim – the man chosen by Nicolas Sarkozy in 2009 to reform French lycee education – was openly gay, although he seems to have tried to hide this in 2004 with a heterosexual marriage. A comment thread among students at his college at the time refers to the event, asking “What will now happen to Ritchie’s ex-husband?”, while another comments “Is this a white wedding or a whitewash wedding?” (mariage en blanc ou mariage blanc)

In fact, by September 2009, Descoings felt relaxed enough to write about being gay – «Tout est plus compliqué quand on est un étudiant gay » – he observed. By late Tuesday, the site had been taken down, but around 2007 Descoings became a vaguely controversial figure when he argued for positive discrimination in favour of ‘des jeunes bacheliers’ in the professions.

A quick look at his page on social website Profile Engine shows a selection of friends with similar interests to Richard Descoings, known in homosexual circles as ‘Ritchie D’, a French jeux de mots on the words ‘riches idees’.

His sexuality would be irrelevant were it not for the fact that the state of his hotel room has all the hallmarks of a rough-trade encounter that went wrong. Descoings’ wallet was missing, but his credit cards were found, said the NYPD informant. Doubtless more will emerge shortly.

Still disturbingly alive in America is French person Christine Lagarde, who yesterday gave a speech playing her own little role in the game of hot-potato passing.

The story so far: last week Mario Draghi opined publicly about the need for EU member State exchequers to cough up more firewall bricks. The EU FinMins then cobbled together an amount of building materials and doubled it, but unfortunately the doubling up was in the form of mental arithmetic rather than anything concrete. ‘Mental arithmetic’ as a phrase, in fact, sums up EU financial goings-on rather well.

The FinMins then passed the steaming spud to the IMF – saying it should lend a lot more – so yesterday Chrissie in turn hurled it in the direction of the G20. She told the annual meeting of The Associated Press that last week’s move by eurozone countries to boost their own rescue fund had strengthened her case to ask other large economies to expand the IMF’s financial war chest.”We need more firepower,” she said, desperately.

Part of the problem here is too many parallels in the eurozone’s parallel Universe. Geithner wanted a bazooka, Lagarde started off wanting a war-chest, but the FinMins insisted on a firewall, so now Christine The Guardianette wants ammo for the bazooko. Everyone’s confused, especially as none of the participants wants to part with any of the alleged monetary substances.

It’s been a long day. I’m going to lie down now. I may be some time.

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