Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Normal President with a Normal Bank Account

Arun Kapil debunks the Daily Mail's attempt to paint François Hollande as a wealthy hypocrite. I particularly like this bit:

The Mail then drops this bombshell
Among other assets are three current accounts in French banks – two with global giant Societe Generale and one with the Postal Bank – and a life insurance policy.
Wow, GLOBAL GIANT Société Générale! I guess that really does mean President Hollande is rich. Just like me having an account in the global giant Bank of America must mean that I’m rich… (though if one saw my current balance one would readily understand that I am very, very far from being rich). 

Yes, indeed. In fact, it's a little frightening to realize that I am a good deal wealthier than the president of France, what with my account in (precarious) global giant B of A, not to mention my 401k at (hopefully not precarious) Fidelity Investments. Yes, investments: I am a capitalist, O hypocrite lecteur, mon semblable, mon frère! As untrustworthy as the shifty Hollande with his Postal Savings Account. Geez. You'd think the Mail would have learned something after losing libel suits to Elton John and Tony and Cherie Blair.


Anonymous said...

I'd be willing to bet that there's a translation error: it's probably assurance vie, which is not life insurance, but more like a retirement account. Assurance decès is life insurance. I doubt he would be required to say if he has life insurance.

Cincinna said...

Not many French people, or Americans have an income of €350,000 from "no show & no work jobs "in Soprano terms). Or a real estate portfolio of Paris apartments and houses in the South of France worth half a million dollars.

Art Goldhammer said...

I guess you don't know many people who live in Cambridge, MA, Cincinna. Half a million ain't what it used to be in many American cities and towns.

Cincinna said...

  I have absolutely no problem with you, or anyone else making as much money as they they are able, and accumulating wealth and property for themselves and their families. 
  I believe in success and prosperity, and in the opportunity for all to achieve it. 
  You seem to be a hardworking, successful guy, and I'm sure you work hard and are worth what you earn.
  My problem is not with what Hollande earns, or what property he owns, but with his hypocrisy of passing himself off as Mr Normal, man of the people. 
He is not even close to the average. The average working gal or guy in France, or the US does not have an income of $500k/year and a net worth in the millions. That is reserved for the so-called 1% vilified by the left. 
   Living the lifestyle of the rich, while preaching the platitudes of socialism is just plain hypocrisy. The French have a name for it, "la Gauche Caviar", the Brits, "Champagne Socialists" and we Americans call them "Limousine Liberals ". As my still sharp Yankee Grandma, aged 102 says, their motto is "do as I say, not as I do". 
NB. I am well aware of the high cost of living, especially real estate, and high incomes of many in places like Cambridge or NY. That being said, $500k/ yr is not chump change, even after taxes, which in NYC
weigh in at about 40%. (Federal, State, and City taxes combined) not to mention real estate taxes, which in NYC are actually very low.