Monday, September 5, 2011

Le capitalisme à papa

France is not like other capitalist countries:
En 1988, 90 des plus grandes fortunes sur 150 s'étaient constituées depuis moins de quarante ans. En 2008, sur les 200 plus grandes entreprises françaises, 76 étaient sous contrôle familial , contre 62 vingt ans plus tôt.

L'histoire économique de la France reste marquée par l'empreinte d'un capitalisme familial dont l'activité s'est étendue à l'international.

Autre spécificité hexagonale, la concentration des pouvoirs. "Une petite centaine de personnes possède 43 % des droits de vote des sociétés du CAC 40." Une consanguinité qu profite aux technocrates passés par la haute fonction publique, parfois issus des "grandes familles" qui ont envoyé leurs héritiers dans les"bonnes écoles".

Villepin: Tous pourris (ou presque)

One expects Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon to attack the corruption of the political elite in toto. That is their stock in trade. It's less expected when it comes from Dominique de Villepin.

Clerk Contradicts Judge

The clerk of juge d'instruction Isabelle Prévost-Desprez, the person who is supposed to have heard the off-the-record remark implicating Sarkozy in the Bettencourt affair, denies the judge's assertion. Under oath. This whole business becomes more unsavory by the day.

How to Pay for the Non-Free Lunch

A Fiscal Union for the Euro: Some Lessons from History
by Michael D. Bordo, Agnieszka Markiewicz, Lars Jonung  -  #17380 (DAE ME)


The recent financial crisis 2007-2009 was the longest and the deepest
recession since the Great Depression of 1930.  The crisis that
originated in subprime mortgage markets was spread and amplified
through globalised financial markets and resulted in severe debt
crises in several European countries in 2010 and 2011.  Events
revealed that the European Union had insufficient means to halt the
spiral of European debt crisis.  In particular, no pan-European
fiscal mechanism to face a global crisis is available at present.
The aim of this study is to identify the characteristics of a robust
common fiscal policy framework that could have alleviated the
consequences of the recent crisis.  This is done by using the
political and fiscal history of five federal states; Argentina,
Brazil, Canada, Germany and the United States.

No Free Lunch

A new paper by Maurice Obstfeld:


This paper argues that if policymakers seek to enhance global
liquidity, then the international community must provide a higher and
better coordinated level of fiscal support than it has in the past.
Loans to troubled sovereigns or financial institutions imply a credit
risk that ultimately must be lodged somewhere.  Expanded
international lending facilities, including an expanded IMF, cannot
remain unconditionally solvent absent an expanded level of fiscal
backup.  The same point obviously applies to the European framework
for managing internal sovereign debt problems, including proposals
for a jointly guaranteed eurozone sovereign bond.  Even attainment of
a significant role for the Special Drawing Right depends upon
enhanced fiscal resources and burden sharing at the international