Sunday, March 22, 2009

Willem Buiter on Central Banking

A valuable primer.

Sensible Socialist

Manuel Valls has some sensible things to say (thanks to MYOS for the tip).

Populist Rage in High Places

In the US, bus tours have been organized to bring angry citizens close to "The Lives of the Rich and Infamous" beneficiaries of AIG bonuses. In France, ministerial limos deliver less persuasively angry ministers to TV studios, where they berate the counterparties of AIG's now infamous credit default swaps:

Si la ministre a abordé cette question, c'est que les stock-options distribués à ses cadres dirigeants par la Société Générale - qui a bénéficié d'aides de l'Etat - ont fait grand bruit cette semaine. Mme Lagarde a sèchement déclaré: "Il serait grand temps que Société Générale rime un peu plus avec intérêt général". "J'avais demandé aux dirigeants de la Société Générale de prendre des décisions appropriées", c'est-à-dire de "renoncer à l'attribution" de ces stock-options.

Pope and Besancenot Neck-and-Neck

A CSA poll finds that 57% of the French disapprove of the Pope (h/t Eloi Laurent). That leaves 43% who approve, and this happens to be the same number who feel that Olivier Besancenot is the politician "most concerned with the problems of the French" (Sarko scores only 28% on this measure). The French are particularly unhappy with the Pope's positions on homosexuality (69% disapprove), divorce (77%), and contraception (85%).