Sunday, November 06, 2011

Sandusky, 67, was arrested Saturday and charged with 40 counts of sexually abusing children over 15 years...

Two top university officials — Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for finance and business, and Tim Curley, the athletic director — were charged with perjury and failure to report to authorities what they knew of the allegations, as required by state law. The Penn State board of trustees held an emergency meeting Sunday night, after which the university president, Graham B. Spanier, announced that Curley had asked to be placed on administrative leave while he fought the charges and that Schultz had resigned.

Published: November 6, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — On Saturday, March 2, 2002, according to Pennsylvania prosecutors, a Penn State University graduate student went to visit Joe Paterno, the university’s football coach. He had a horrific story to tell: the night before, the graduate student had witnessed one of Paterno’s former coaches sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in the football facility’s showers.

Paterno, according to the prosecutors, did not call the police. Instead, the next day, he had the university’s athletic director visit him at his home, a modest ranch house just off campus in State College. According to prosecutors, Paterno told the athletic director of the report regarding the former coach, Jerry Sandusky.

The authorities then say nothing about what, if anything, Paterno did in the subsequent days or weeks. They do not say whether he followed up on the allegation or whether he ever confronted Sandusky, a man who had worked for him for 32 years and who, even after retiring, had wide access to the university’s athletic facilities and students.

What prosecutors do contend in detail is that Sandusky went on to abuse at least one and perhaps any number of other young boys after Paterno and other senior officials at Penn State were told of an assault in 2002.

Sandusky, 67, was arrested Saturday and charged with 40 counts of sexually abusing children over 15 years, including his time as an assistant at Penn State. He was specifically accused of having assaulted the young boy in 2002. All the accusers were boys Sandusky had come to know through a charity he founded, the Second Mile, for disadvantaged children from troubled families.

On Sunday, Paterno issued a statement insisting that the graduate assistant had not told him of the extent of the sexual assault that he said he witnessed, only that he had seen something inappropriate involving Sandusky and the child.

“As Coach Sandusky was retired from our coaching staff at the time, I referred the matter to university administrators,” Paterno said in the statement.

“I understand that people are upset and angry, but let’s be fair and let the legal process unfold,” Paterno said.

Paterno’s son Scott said in an interview Sunday that Paterno never spoke to Sandusky about the allegation, and that he never seriously pursued the question of whether any action had been taken by the university or any other authorities against Sandusky.

“From my imperfect recollection, once he referred it off, I do not believe he had a second conversation about it,” Scott Paterno said of his father and how he handled any follow-up on the allegation. He added: “The appropriate people were contacted by Joe. That was the chain of command. It was a retired employee and it falls under the university’s auspices, not the football auspices.”

The university’s athletic director, Tim Curley, and another senior administration official have been charged with lying to a grand jury about what they had been told about Sandusky’s conduct, and they are expected to surrender to the authorities Monday morning. Their lawyers have maintained they will be exonerated. Sandusky, through his lawyer, has maintained his innocence.

It appears prosecutors believe that Paterno, whatever his personal sense of obligation to inquire or act further, met his legal requirement in reporting the graduate student’s allegation to his direct superior, Curley.

Under state law, if a staff member at a school makes a report of possible sexual abuse of a child, it is the responsibility of “the person in charge of the school or institution” to make a report to the state’s Department of Public Welfare. According to prosecutors, neither Curley nor the president of Penn State, Graham B. Spanier, who had been told by Curley of the complaint against Sandusky, made such a report to child welfare authorities.

Of course, there was nothing preventing Paterno from doing more, and some sexual abuse experts and those who have represented young sex victims over the years have begun questioning why he did not take more immediate, aggressive action....


The Greek Gedolim - Leading From Behind!


THE warning was clear: Greece was spiraling out of control.

But the alarm, sounded in mid-2009, in a draft report from the International Monetary Fund, never reached the outside world.

Greek officials saw the draft and complained to the I.M.F. So the final report, while critical, played down the risks that Athens might one day default, with disastrous consequences for all of Europe.

What is so remarkable about this episode is that it wasn’t so remarkable at all. The reversal at the I.M.F. was just one small piece of a broad pattern of denial that helped push Greece to the brink and now threatens to pull apart the euro. Politicians, policy makers, bankers — all underestimated dangers that seem clear enough in hindsight. Time and again over the last two years, many of those in charge offered solutions that, rather than fix the problems in Greece, simply let them fester.

Indeed, five months after the I.M.F. made that initial prognosis, Prime Minister George Papandreou of Greece disclosed that, under the previous government, his nation had essentially lied about the size of its deficit. The gap, it turned out, amounted to an unsustainable 12 percent of the country’s annual economic output, not 6 percent, as the government had maintained.

Almost all of the endeavors to defuse this crisis have denied the overarching conclusion of that I.M.F. draft: that Greece could no longer pay its bills and needed to drastically cut its debt.

Until October, when European leaders conceded that point, the champion of the resistance was Jean-Claude Trichet, who stepped down this month as president of the European Central Bank. It was he who insisted that no European country could ever be allowed to go bankrupt.

“There is simply no excuse for Trichet and Europe getting this so wrong,” said Willem Buiter, chief economist at Citigroup. “It is fine to make default a moral issue, but you also have to accept that outside of Western Europe, defaults have been a dime a dozen, even in the past few decades.”

If leaders had agreed earlier to ease Greece’s debt burden and moved faster to protect the likes of Italy and Spain — as United States officials had been urging since early 2010 — the worst might be behind Europe today, experts say.

The turning point came at a late-night meeting last month when Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, pushed private creditors to accept a 50 percent loss on their Greek bonds. Mr. Trichet had long opposed such a move, fearing that it could undermine European banks. Instead, at his urging, European leaders initially promoted painful austerity for Greece, prompting a public backlash that pushed Mr. Papendreou’s government to the brink of collapse and could force Athens to abandon the euro.

Many view the latest rescue plan as too little, too late.

“Because of all this denial and delay, Greece will need to write down as much as 85 percent of its debt — 50 percent is not enough,” Mr. Buiter said.

It was never going to be easy to turn things around in Greece, particularly given European politics. In countries like Germany and the Netherlands, many people oppose bailing out their southern neighbors. Policy makers and, indeed, many financiers believed that they could buy enough time for Greece to solve its problems on its own.

“It was quite obvious, by the spring of 2010, that Greek debt could not be paid off,” said Richard Portes, a European economics expert at the London Business School. “But in good faith, policy makers felt that Greece could grow out of its debt problem. They were wrong.”

BOB M. TRAA is no one’s idea of a radical. A Dutchman, he labors at the I.M.F., among the arcana of global debt statistics. He wrote the 2009 report.

Immediately after that bulletin, he produced another, more damning analysis, which concluded that if Greece were a company, it would be bankrupt. The country’s net worth, he concluded, was a negative 51 billion euros ($71 billion).

But because Greece had a high-enough credit rating at that time, it could keep borrowing money and skate by. Once again, the Greek government objected to the I.M.F. analysis, although this time, the report was not amended.

Attention has only recently been drawn to these early I.M.F. studies. The Brussels research group Bruegel, which conducted an analysis at the I.M.F.’s behest, concluded the fund should have done more to draw attention to Greece’s troubles.

By early 2010, banks and bond investors were growing reluctant to lend Greece money. The country’s finance minister, George Papaconstantinou, delivered a blistering message to his European partners....