Friday, March 27, 2009

Mosco Tires of His Blog ...

... or is it the state of the PS that's got him down?

You Be the Judge

Will DSK be a viable presidential candidate in 2012? His appearance last night on À vous de juger was apparently a great success (I haven't seen it yet myself)--confident and statesmanlike, according to one friend. And the comparative ratings picture looks good:

1. Nicolas Sarkozy : 17,1 %, le 14 février 2008.
2. Dominique Strauss-Kahn : 16 %, le 26 mars 2009.
3. Rachida Dati/Bernard Tapie : 15,2 %, le 16 octobre 2009.
4. Bernard Kouchner : 14,4 %, le 15 mai 2008.
5. Une spéciale "Impôts, pouvoir d'achat, salaires" : 14,1 %, le 27 mars 2008
6. Martine Aubry : 12,7 %, le 29 janvier 2009.
7. François Bayrou : 12,3 %, le 11 décembre 2008.
8. Une spéciale "Crise" : 12,3 %, le 13 novembre 2008.
9. François Fillon : 12 %, le 12 juin 2008 (face à un match de l'Euro sur TF1).
10. Xavier Darcos : 9,8 %, le 11 septembre 2008.

Institut Montaigne Proposals

Some interesting thoughts for the upcoming G20 from the Institut Montaigne. The proposals in the document narrow the gap between the European position, calling for regulation, and the American position, calling for stimulus. This opposition is too stark, to the point of caricature, since Tim Geithner yesterday laid out the American proposal for regulatory reform. This includes a clearing house for credit default swaps. But the Institut Montaigne proposal adds an interesting wrinkle: that CDS cleared through this central agency should pay a fee, the proceeds of which will go to fund the IMF. This is an excellent idea.

The Institut Montaigne also notes that European governments have met with difficulty in funding their deficits. The Germans were unable to place all of their last bond issue, according to the document. This may help to explain why Europeans are reluctant to stimulate by increasing their deficits further. The IM document suggests that an authority be created to issue a European sovereign bond. Details on this are a bit sketchy, and though they are said to be fleshed out elsewhere on the site, I wasn't able to find them. Without an EU taxing authority, I'm not sure why Euro-debt should be easier to place than national debt, but the underlying idea is clear: with a common currency and a common central bank, one needs a way to issue debt that compensates for the deficiencies of the weakest member states.

These are constructive proposals for the G20 to consider, and there's much more in the document, which is available in both French and English (except that, on checking, the English "document" appears to be in French as well).

Freedom Fries

Did French opposition to the Iraq War hurt the French economy? This paper argues that it did, significantly.

Kwak on Couacs out of Europe

Here. See also the Times, here.