Friday, January 29, 2010

Derrière la Tett

Gillian Tett finds wisdom, sort of, in Sarkozy's Davos speech. Specifically, she singles out his call for a "new Bretton Woods" as an idea that only recently would have seemed "old-fashioned or even barking mad" but which now, in a time of confusion and uncertainty, has the virtue of a lighthouse in a fog, pointing the way to terra firma (or, at any rate, to a place where terra firma used to lie).

Well, maybe. One is never clear how much actual thinking lies behind Sarko's "unexpectedly geeky comments," to borrow Tett's phrase. He is a voracious idea monger and opportunity senser, and, as Tett also notes, he smells a vacuum: the US, preoccupied with internal squabbles and somewhat insulated from the disaster it has created, seems to have retreated from leadership in the international financial arena, but the problem  of global imbalances has not grown less acute. Somebody has to step up, and Sarko, tired of playing second fiddle to The One, is glad to be the one. But the US and China are the major players here, and French relations with both economic superpowers are somewhat frosty at the moment. Sarko may be onto something, but follow-through has never been his strong suit. This dossier bears watching, however.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was a very interesting comment. My cousin Aron "Ronnie" Broches was Secretary of The Netherlands delegation to the Bretton Woods Conference. As the senior genealogist of the JAWETZ family, I need to check out some facts about our mutual (?) relatives. Won't you please contact me? I'm 86 years old, not a threat to the females in your family! Thanks so much, Henny Moed Roth, Los Angeles, California - (310) 289-8713 -