Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Quatremer on the Cyprus Crisis

Jean Quatremer has the best account I've yet seen of the colossal mishandling of the Cyprus banking crisis. For the first time we learn who did what at each stage of the unfolding crisis. The principal culprits: the Cypriot government and the Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem. And where was the French government input while all this was going on? If France tried to minimize the damage, Quatremer hasn't been able to find out how.

UPDATE: This other piece by Quatremer explains that France blocked the appointment of German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble to head the Eurogroup, thus allowing the manifestly unqualified Dijsselbloem (an agricultural engineer by training) to slip into the post.

Cahuzac's Account at UBS May Have Been Opened by a Lepeniste

According to this article.

Cahuzac Reaction

You can't get much angrier than this:

European Unemployment Hits 12%

Unemployment in the Eurozone has attained its highest level ever in the euro area. Mark Cliffe, chief economist of ING, said that “it’s a bit of a vicious circle. Europe is pursuing a policy that is self-evidently failing.” Meanwhile, two books have appeared to make the case against austerity:


Both are highly recommended.

A reader says that the titles aren't visible. If the links to Amazon don't work, here are the titles: Robert Kuttner, Debtors'  Prison and Mark Blyth, Austerity.

Bussy-Saint-Georges, Where Laïcité Meets Multiculturalism

Scott Sayare has a nice piece in the Times about the Paris suburb of Bussy-Saint-Georges, whose enlightened mayor, Hugues Rondeau, has created an "Esplanade of Religions" honoring the many sects that reside in his growing city. His work has been praised by UNESCO as creating a "city for intefaith dialogue." "Laïcité can often be a caricature," says Rondeau.