Underscoring the cultural differences between France and the United States, many French recoiled from images of Strauss-Kahn being paraded before the news media in handcuffs and in court -- photographs that would be prohibited under French law to protect the presumption of innocence.
So, after all that, would Strauss-Kahn still consider running for the presidency of France? No, he answered. He said that sometimes he gives advice -- and sometimes he does so for free -- to underdeveloped countries.
Strauss-Kahn said he thinks France's current president, Francois Hollande, is "doing his best."
He spoke at length about the European economic situation. He criticized leaders for not dealing with a downturn when it first developed.
"What the Europeans tried to do was to buy time, for political reasons, not to admit the losses so they were unable," he said. "Still now they are unable to have a plan for the future. They just try to buy another six months and another six months and that's a catastrophe because the cost today is much higher than the cost -- what would have been the cost two or three years ago."
Quest asked Strauss-Kahn whether he's frustrated that he's not part of the discussion to find a solution to the problem.
"No, it's my fault," he replied.
The economist reflected on work he says he's done internationally, including some work he says he's recently done in South Sudan.
"I spent all my life trying to help my people in France to have a better life," he said. "It appears to me while I was working that I could do this at the global level. Again, I must be humble."
He said of his work in South Sudan: "I'm doing it totally for free because I want to help them. I'm happy to see the government of South Sudan tell me, 'Come to us and help us, We need you.'"
"That's much more rewarding than any kind of election in any country. People looking at you and say[ing] 'We need you.'"