Thursday, March 7, 2013

Stiglitz and Fitoussi Dissociate Themselves from Grillo

Beppe Grillo's economics advisor had been dropping the name of Joe Stiglitz in recent days, prompting Stiglitz to deny that he is counseling the Italian populist:

Fausse alerte. Malgré les avances du conseiller économique de Beppe Grillo, Mauro Gallegati, les néo-keynésiens ne sont guère tentés de voir leurs noms associés à la gestation du programme économique du Mouvement Cinque Stelle (M5S). Et le font savoir. Son nom ayant été largement cité dans la presse italienne depuis plusieurs jours ( «Les Echos » du 4 mars ), le Nobel d'économie Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University) prend soin de souligner qu'il n'est «pas un conseiller de Beppe Grillo», même s'il s'est souvent exprimé sur le blog du fondateur de M5S par le passé et a participé au Woodstock 5 Stelle en septembre 2010. Son collègue et ami Jean-Paul Fitoussi (IEP de Paris), lui aussi cité par Mauro Gallegati dans une interview à «La Stampa» du 1er mars, est encore plus catégorique.

Sarkozy and Gay Marriage, and Chirac Advises Hollande

Nicolas Sarkozy is not only daydreaming about the presidency again; he seems to be concocting new schemes to divide and conquer as a means of getting there. Gay marriage being the cause of the hour, Sarko has taken it in his mind to worry about "the traceability" of the offspring of same-sex couples. The secrecy shrouding the biological parents will become a social problem, he claims. Such tender solicitude for the traditional family may seem a trifle insincere in a man divorced many times, but any wood is good to make a bonfire.

Meanwhile, France TV has been at work on a new series called "La dernière campagne," which will feature Bernard LeCoq as Jacques Chirac, Thierry Frémont as Nicolas Sarkozy, and Patrick Braoudé as François Hollande. It seems that Chirac, in order to avenge himself on Sarkozy, has decided to offer political counsel to François Hollande. In this amusing clip, for example, we witness the inception of the 75% tax on individuals earning over €1 million a year.

Extrait "La dernière campagne" de Bernard Stora by france3aquitaine

"The Adjectival Left" and the "Right of Return"

Laurent Bouvet has some fun with the manifestos issued by various would-be factions of the "new" Socialist Party, which seek "to exist" by inscribing arresting adjectives on a banner, hoisting it up the flagpole, and seeing who salutes. Thus we have "la gauche forte," "la gauche populaire," and "la gauche durable."

Meanwhile, on the right, Nicolas Sarkozy has reportedly begun to muse about the fatal moment when the question will no longer be whether he "wishes" to return to politics (meaning: run for president, since there is no other kind of "politics" for one who has tasted the ultimate power) but rather whether he has any choice other than to throw his hat once again into the ring. Faire don de sa personne à la France, as it were. The various presidential plotters in the UMP have thus been put on notice: a sort of Night of the Long Knives could well be in preparation. Of course it's never a good idea to warn the potential victims of a conspiracy that their days may be numbered.

Sarkozy's remarks are intended to create a certain aura of inevitability around his eventual return to power. It is no longer a possibility that he evokes but a veritable "right of return," as though a renewal of his lease on the Elysée were his historic right as a man unjustly evicted by the current occupant of the place.