Monday, October 18, 2010

European Banks

European banks still have problems, according to Nicolas Véron.

A Splendid Takedown of Jacques Attali

I confess to a certain schadenfreude in reading this nice demolition job on France's expert-without-portfolio Jacques Attali. (h/t JV)

Portrait of Eva Joly

I'm told that Eva Joly is a rising star, the person to watch on the French political scene. She has apparently surrounded herself with a group of clever advisors at Europe Écologie and is preparing an active campaign for the presidency. Here is a portrait of her. Here is a dissenting view, which seems to be more of a hunch than an argument.

So what does Joly have to say about the issue of the hour, retirement reform? Here is what she said last April. Basically, her argument is that the state offers tax credits that subsidize "l'assurance-vie" and other capitalization-based retirement savings programs and that the billions in revenue lost as a result would go a long way toward restoring the equilibrium of the state retirement system. The figures in her blog post are a little sketchy, and the political viability of the proposal has not been tested, but still, it's a concrete suggestion. I'm surprised that it hasn't received more discussion. A more detailed plan is proposed here.