As if to underscore Hollande's remarks that austerity is not enough (see previous post), Prime Minister Ayrault has announced the nomination of Jean-Pierre Jouyet to head the Public Investment Bank. Jouyet is an old Europe hand: he handled Europe under Jospin and then again under Fillon. France seems to favor such perennial technicians in key economic policymaking positions.
As for the Banque Publique d'Investissement, you may recall that it was originally to have been the Banque Européenne d'Investissement, but Germany and France did not see eye-to-eye on the project, so now it is a France-only bank, seriously undercapitalized, and unlikely to accomplish much beyond financing the pet projects of regional party bosses. Or am I too cynical? There is no shortage of loanable funds in existing banks. The problem is a shortage of projects for which banks are willing to lend in the current climate of deficient demand. So creating a public bank to lend to enterprises that private bankers consider too risky has obvious dangers.