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Montebourg Bails Out

by afew Mon Aug 25th, 2014 at 05:15:19 AM EST

French Minister for the Economy (for fake, the real powers being elsewhere) Arnaud Montebourg came out over the weekend with clear criticism of Hollande's leadership. Hollande's 2012 promise to get the economy and employment on the move again had clearly failed, he said; supply side policies could not work without demand-side stimulus, and he solemnly called on Hollande to change course. And he broke the big taboo:

A la Fête de la rose, Montebourg et Hamon mettent la pression sur Hollande

La France est un pays libre qui n'a pas vocation à s'aligner sur les obsessions de la droite allemande

(France is a free country that is not meant to align itself on the obsessions of the German right)

Ooh, he said Germany and obsessions! "France is Germany's friend", that is the only kind of phrase in which a French government official (under Hollande or Sarkozy) is supposed to mention that country.

Manuel Valls (according to Le Parisien) told Hollande "It's him or it's me". This morning he tendered the resignation of his government and was immediately reconducted as PM by Hollande. The new government will be named tomorrow, and, apart from Montebourg, probably other heads (Benoît Hamon, perhaps others) will roll.

Hollande and Valls confirm their centre-right alignment on austerity. Whether they will now avoid a split in the Socialist Party, and how significant the split might be, are other questions.


Display:
Into the Valley of Death... ride noble Hollande and Valls.

And their popularity ratings are, in Hollande's case, abysmal, and for Valls, dropping like a stone. However, that a significant portion of public opinion would back a leftwing breakaway is unlikely. The wind is blowing rightwards, and far rightwards.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Aug 25th, 2014 at 05:19:14 AM EST
Montebourg made this effort without assessing what support he had first?

Shouldn't the French Greens come out and support his position as well as whatever left Socialists remain? (I know, what have I been smoking.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Aug 25th, 2014 at 06:57:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Montebourg made this effort without assessing what support he had first?"

Perhaps he thought it didn't matter anyway.

"Shouldn't the French Greens come out"

They already left the government a few months ago?

by IM on Mon Aug 25th, 2014 at 07:03:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed the Greens leaving the government was the trigger for the cabinet remodelling of 5 months ago when Valls became PM and Montebourg got the Economy portfolio (much to the horror of the serious people) as Hollande tried to accommodate all the factions within the Socialist Party.

It seems to me the only road Hollande has left is going full-on austerity cabinet.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Aug 25th, 2014 at 08:14:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it's the other way around. When Valls was named Prime Minister, he asked the green ministers Cécile Duflot and Pascal Canfin to stay in the government, but they refused to be part of a Valls governement.

 

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Mon Aug 25th, 2014 at 09:38:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The French Greens are split between those who want to get back into government, and those who are opposed to Hollande's policy. A good many of them will support Montebourg's view.

So will part of the Front de Gauche (Mélenchon has just left his job as co-president in order to free himself up for a French-presidential run in 2017).

As for representatives of the PS, Valls (because I think he obliged Hollande to move on this) is confronting them with crunch time. Keep the party's backing in the next elections, or risk going off into the desert for good.

Standard party politics, and probably effective.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Aug 25th, 2014 at 08:13:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I should add that, evidently, Montebourg has now freed himself up for 2017. Perhaps Mélenchon's move pushed him to act quickly.

In any case, that makes two rivals for leadership of an alternative left. Promising...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Aug 25th, 2014 at 08:19:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am surprised most of the commentators do not see it's Montebourg's main motivation. He knew very well he was not going to make Valls change his policy, and he did this move in order to appear as the leader of the PS left.


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Aug 25th, 2014 at 09:41:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think I'll change the title of this post from "Montebourg Ejected" to "Montebourg Ejects".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Aug 25th, 2014 at 09:48:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Montebourg bails out?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Aug 25th, 2014 at 09:53:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Montebourg provokes his firing.
by IM on Mon Aug 25th, 2014 at 09:59:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, eject is used intransitively for the use of an ejector seat, as in "the pilot ejects". "Bails out" is more frequent though.

I can see a cartoon with Montebourg parachuting down beside Mélenchon, who says, "You too?" - while Hollande and Valls above pilot a diving plane with smoke coming out the back.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Aug 25th, 2014 at 10:14:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it a SU 25 ground attack plane pursuing a scorched earth policy prior to crash landing?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 25th, 2014 at 10:45:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But he was fired, he didn't quit.

So he can claim he was a loyal party man.

by IM on Mon Aug 25th, 2014 at 09:49:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is indeed what he's claiming today.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Aug 25th, 2014 at 09:51:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The centre-left doesn't do half-measures. When it comes to self-destruction.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Aug 25th, 2014 at 07:06:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Benoît Hamon (Education) announced he would not be part of the new government.

En direct - Hamon : «La rigueur budgétaire ne peut être un but en politique» - Libération

la rigueur budgétaire ne peut pas être un but en politique. (...) La situation nouvelle c'est que la déflation menace, ce n'était pas le cas en 2012, et Angela Merkel est désormais minoritaire. Il y a aussi une déflagration qui est le FN.

(Budgetary rigour cannot be an aim in politics (...) The new situation is that deflation threatens, which wasn't the case in 2012, and Angela Merkel is now in the minority. There is also an explosion that is the Front National.)

Aurélie Filipetti (Culture) also announced, in a letter to Valls and Hollande, that she was not a candidate for the new government. "Do we now have to apologize for being on the left?"

The Greens announced officially that they would not participate in the new government.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 26th, 2014 at 02:02:50 AM EST
European Tribune - Montebourg Bails Out
Ooh, he said Germany and obsessions! "France is Germany's friend", that is the only kind of phrase in which a French government official (under Hollande or Sarkozy) is supposed to mention that country.

To be fair, Montebourg's remark wasn't aimed the whole of Germany (all 85 millions of them), but to the German right - the CDU-CSU (and FDP). As part of the PES, the EPP is still fair game?

by Bernard on Tue Aug 26th, 2014 at 02:12:04 AM EST
But there has been no real discussion, in French public debate, of Germany and its politics. It's the elephant at the table. Simply pointing out there's a German right breaks a taboo, though it's cosmetic language: practically all German politics is suffused with the fear of inflation and the shame of debt.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 26th, 2014 at 02:43:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think we should blame Berlin too much. Well, we should, but please remember that the French right with its hard-money madness is just as problematic, and it seems like the French centre-left is as well. The signs have been apparent for quite a while. Remember Hollande extolling Jean-Baptiste Say?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Aug 26th, 2014 at 05:20:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yeah, that was weird.

I am all for blaming Berlin. But Merkel is not all powerful. Austerity is and Idology which rules all European capitals, not just Berlin.

by rz on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 04:20:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not a right/left divide, the entire French establishment is obsessed with le Franc fort.

Regarding blaming Germany, the Euro is a French own goal. They have nobody but themselves to blame.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 04:31:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a problem of educatino: all the people in place today have received their education in economic sciences at the final of the 70's, when Chicago school was hype and keynesianism was doomed.

I'm talking about all european elites, here, not just France or Germany.

There may be different flavours: the germans are more ordoliberals, the britsh maybe favour finance over industry, but everybody agrees on one thing: public expenses are intrinsically negative for the economy, a cost. Social security in France is clearly not viexed as a way to ensure health treatment in a cost effective way, which it actually is, as Obamacera debate has shown, but as a luxury, a cost impinged on the economy, so that people have access to a dispensable good: health.

In a publication by the "canard enchainé", it is said that François Hollande has been a student of the HEC Paris during his years at ENA. This coincide with a change in the orientation of this school, from a state-based economic thinking to a purely chicago-type teaching.

Hollande has then been a politic, so all his economical credentials date back to the time when Pinochet was hailed as a great politic for his application of Chicago-school theories, and when keynes was an almost a swear word.

From Krugman:

When freshwater macro came in, there was an active purge of competing views: students were not exposed, at all, to any alternatives. People like Prescott boasted that Keynes was never mentioned in their graduate programs. And what has become clear in the recent debate -- for example, in the assertion that Ricardian equivalence rules out any effect from government spending changes, which is just wrong -- is that the freshwater side not only turned Keynes into an unperson, but systematically ignored the work being done in the New Keynesian vein. Nobody who had read, say, Obstfeld and Rogoff would have been as clueless about the logic of temporary fiscal expansion as these guys have been. Freshwater macro became totally insular.

This processus also happened in France. My brother -who followed political sciences studies- told me that Keynes was almost ignored by the teachers, and that Marx was never told about (even to refute him, or in a economical thought history perspective). This happened in the 2000s. I do not believe it is any different today.

by Xavier in Paris on Fri Aug 29th, 2014 at 05:15:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To illustrate (with all the doubts on the measurement procedure)
Frequency of apparition of Keynes and Friedman through the ages
by Xavier in Paris on Mon Sep 1st, 2014 at 11:42:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kingslayer Me - Paul Krugman - NYTimes.com
OK, this has to be the funniest headline I've seen for a while, on Business Insider: The French Government Has Collapsed, And It's Partly Paul Krugman's Fault. The French prime minister has tendered his resignation amid a dispute set off by the economy minister's decision to go public with opposition to austerity orthodoxy, and since he cited me on the subject, Business Insider has made a funny.
by Bernard on Tue Aug 26th, 2014 at 02:14:59 AM EST
Paul Krugman Cited French Economic Minister In Case Against Austerity - Business Insider

As evidence of that policy's failure, Montebourg cited the former Princeton professor and New York Times columnist.

Here's the exchange:

LeMonde: Has Europe, and France too in the past two years, focused too much on budget contraction?

Arnaud Montebourg: That's not my observation, that's the diagnosis of financial institutions across the world, starting with the IMF which, whose director, Christine Lagarde, warned European leaders about an excess of budget consolidation. Paul Krugman, a Nobel laureate, also wrote on Aug. 13, "The nightmare scenario in Europe is not a hypothetical. The news that industrial production has ground to a halt raises the prospect of a new recession in Europe -- its primary cause, austerity." These warnings have also been sounded by other leaders of world powers including Barack Obama.

Shouldn't that be: "Paul Krugman Cited by French Economic Minister"? Oh well, This is Business Insider, not Literacy Insider...

by Bernard on Tue Aug 26th, 2014 at 02:18:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"starting with the IMF which, whose director, Christine Lagarde, warned European leaders about an excess of budget consolidation."

His first witness came from the french right. Nothing is good enough nowadays.

by IM on Tue Aug 26th, 2014 at 04:22:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that's a dig in the direction of the UMP.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 26th, 2014 at 04:44:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's sad is having to resort to Krugman or Wren-Lewis and not to any prominent French, let alone German, economists, for statements of the obvious.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 26th, 2014 at 04:36:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not Serious™ enough.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 26th, 2014 at 04:49:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps he hopes everybody thinks Paul Krugman is a german.
by IM on Tue Aug 26th, 2014 at 05:09:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
former Princeton professor
Excuse me, what!?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 26th, 2014 at 04:39:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He got the retirement date wrong. It's June 2015, not 2014, after which he joins CUNY.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Aug 26th, 2014 at 04:44:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They are making headlines and editing late with plenty of pizza and beer, competing in wittiness.
by das monde on Tue Aug 26th, 2014 at 09:40:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I suppose one could make the case that this is pure electoral posturing and that Montebourg did not care whether it was the right policy, he just meant to use the political niche available. But that sort of things would just morph into horse-racing, so I'll just look at the substance of these exchanges.

And the substance is that, at the moment, if you are part of a nominally left-wing government, if you say something that is both clearly true (and millions have paid a huge price for the ignorance of that truth) and consistent with your party's stated goals (though Keynesianism, a ploy to save Capitalism, is not particularly left-wing, budgetary fundamentalism is full-throttle insane extreme-right economics), then you are out.

You can make a case that it is being a good -as in effective- politician to be willing and able to get to the top of a party standing for the opposite of what you actually want to implement, but that means that there is not even an attempt to have a democratic society. It is also another example of the problems of an amoral society defining "good" purely on results.

France now nows that, even after having voted against right-wing candidates at every level (at some point local, regional, both chambers and the presidency, though admittedly not European parliement), what they get is a PM who, should someone merely voice a point against the right-wing policies that had been rejected by the electorate, will say "it's him or me" and instead of hearing "we'll miss you (not)", receives the head of the offender on a plate.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Aug 26th, 2014 at 03:11:31 AM EST
Montebourg is replaced as Economy Minister by Emmanuel Macron, an elite revolving-door specialist and outright economic liberal, credited with having inspired Hollande's "supply-side" turn.

So that's clear.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 26th, 2014 at 02:49:49 PM EST
Clear, and terrifying.

On the obvious count, clearly. What is the meaning of democracy if voting for a left-wing government in the aftermath of an economic and financial crisis caused by unhinged neoliberalism gives you that?

But also, if he really is behind the embrace of Say's law, considering how this was ridiculed by the entire field of macroeconomics and that it was pointed out that it had been refuted 200 years ago (including by Say himeslf), he should have had no credibility left as an economics expert, yet this was his role. So there is a complete disconnect between actual expertise and the ability to be considered the expert in a field for the executive. People often complain of living in a technocracy, but a technocracy (government by the technical experts) would be a massive improvement over this.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 03:12:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cet article du « Monde » daté du 8 janvier est republié à l'occasion de sa nomination au gouvernement, au poste de ministre de l'économie, de l'industrie et du numérique, mardi 26 août.

La ligne Macron l'a-t-elle définitivement emporté à l'Elysée ? A en juger par la teneur des voeux présidentiels et des annonces qu'ils comportaient, en l'occurrence une politique de l'offre et de soutien aux entreprises de plus en plus décomplexée, le secrétaire général adjoint, chargé des affaires économiques, et incontestablement le plus libéral de l'équipe élyséenne, a gagné du terrain idéologique.

A l'Elysée, on dément toute extension du domaine du fringant jeune homme, dont les capacités à attirer sur lui la lumière médiatique avaient d'emblée agacé certains membres du staff présidentiel. «Il n'y a qu'une seule ligne politique, celle du président de la République», explique le conseiller politique de François Hollande, Aquilino Morelle. «Elle est la même depuis mai 2012 et en réalité, la même depuis le discours du Bourget, dont la philosophie était de replacer l'industrie et l'économie réelle au coeur de nos préoccupations.»



A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 04:04:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Funny thing there: if Macron is the "right hemisphere" of the Elysée, where is the left?

Ah, it's Hollande. Which means there isn't one.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 04:26:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hollande is the wrong hemisphere.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 04:50:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cyrille:
People often complain of living in a technocracy, but a technocracy (government by the technical experts) would be a massive improvement over this.

Yeah that's really worked out well in Italy! Voting in one's government is so pre-Russell Brand...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 04:15:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
melo, that's my first point.
The French voted for the opposite of what they got.

And I would argue that Italy was not Technocracy either -more like Theocracy, with an Austrian economics god. Technocracy is (for all its flaws) meant to be government by actual experts, not people pushing "laws" that have been thoroughly refuted 200 years ago.

While I would not like the democratic deficit of a genuine Technocracy, Keynes for perpetual economics minister would still beat giving a massive electoral mandate to the left and as a result getting Paul Ryan.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 04:54:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cyrille:
And I would argue that Italy was not Technocracy either -more like Theocracy, with an Austrian economics god. Technocracy is (for all its flaws) meant to be government by actual experts, not people pushing "laws" that have been thoroughly refuted 200 years ago.

I meant since Monti. Our man from Sachs Inc. Then Letta, now Renzi, all unelected, Appointed by King Georgio.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 07:39:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You do realise that Technocracy (that I do not call for) does not mean government by the unelected, but government by the experts?

Being from Godlman certainly does not make you an expert in macroeconomics, or any other major function of the State. What we're having is government by priests of the Austrian cult.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 07:54:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's so much a Theocracy that I spelt it Godlman ;-)

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 07:59:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Being from Go[ld]man certainly does not make you an expert in macroeconomics, or any other major function of the State. What we're having is government by priests of the Austrian cult.
Isn't it interesting that Goldman Sachs' chief economist is neither an Austrian theologian nor an austerian? Just like the chief economists of Citi (Willem Buiter) or Nomura (Richard Koo) both understand macroeconomics and are pragmatic.

With His Latest Note, Goldman's Jan Hatzius Demonstrates Why He's One Of The Best Analysts On Wall Street (Cullen Roche, Business Insider, Nov. 13, 2012)

Back in 2008 I started discussing the idea of the household debt crisis.  In early 2009 I read Richard Koo's fantastic "Holygrail of macroeconomics" and ripped off the term "balance sheet recession" - the concept of weakness in the private sector due to de-leveraging which can only be offset by government budget deficits.  And then I embedded Wynne Godley's sector balances approach into this to provide an overall view of what was occurring in the US economy and why.

...

I've been describing this precise situation for years now.  So I was pleasantly surprised to see this morning's note from Jan Hatzius in which he embedded not only the sectoral balances, but also embedded the idea of the de-leveraging.  This is the holy grail of understanding what's happened to the US economy and why the private sector has been so weak.  More importantly, it explains why the government stopped the US economy from looking more like Spain or Greece even though we're suffering from the exact same disease.



A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 29th, 2014 at 08:46:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If having an understanding of basic Keynesian macro is enough to make you a leading Wall Street analyst, I think quite a lot of us have a brilliant future in finance ahead of us. ;)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Aug 30th, 2014 at 09:37:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That and a tolerance for 18 hour workdays.

A lot of things about investment banking and financial markets become a lot less mysterious when you realize that the major players are running on analysis made by people who are lucky to have more than three nights a week with more than four hours of sleep.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2014 at 10:22:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is the problem technocrats are after all influenced by ideologies too.

The whole concept is dubious, anyway. If I seek a minister for agriculture, forestry and fisheries,

do I want

a) an agriculture expert

b) a forestry expert

c) a fisher man?  

by IM on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 05:15:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose the idea is to have top professional staffs.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 05:48:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Goverment in the west as had top professional staff since a hundred years. If they don't use them or misuse them that doesn't helps.
by IM on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 06:08:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Back to politics.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 06:48:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. The appeal to technocracy tries to escape politics.

But this can't work.

by IM on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 07:05:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Policymaking today attempts to hide the politics behind a veil of technocracy. Just like economic theory has been doing for the past 100+ years.

We need a return of political economy.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 07:07:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When in doubt, redefine...

Is there a line between technocracy and politics?

Technocrization=Politicisation?

Course, we only technically have democracy anyway!

The letter may be still there fading but the spirit has left the building.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 07:34:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IM:
technocrats are after all influenced by ideologies too.

Well, quite.

Yet the word is added to the discussion as if this were not the case. Pure Unpartisan Dispassion at your service! (Break glass in case of emergency)

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 02:19:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Vive Macron ! - Arrêt sur images

Je vais vous étonner : on respire mieux. Mais oui, on respire mieux. On sait où on va. Vers la hausse de la TVA, l'ouverture des magasins le dimanche, le détricotage de la loi Duflot sur le logement, l'idylle avec le MEDEF et les agences immobilières. Vers le reniement total, implacable, décomplexé. Les choses sont claires, dites, posées sur la table. (...) Intellectuellement, c'est beaucoup plus reposant.

(...) Principal titre d'infâmie (ou de gloire) de Macron, donc, son passage par la banque Rothschild, où il a notamment piloté le rachat par Nestlé de la branche nutrition infantile de Pfizer (neuf milliards d'euros, dont il a touché une partie, personne ne sait combien, mais "assez pour être à l'abri du besoin jusqu'à la fin de ses jours"). C'était en 2012 (avant l'élection). Ce fut une colossale bataille de multinationales, Nestlé l'ayant finalement emporté face à Danone (...). Derrière la bagarre, le marché des aliments pour nourrissons en Chine et en Inde. Les femmes chinoises et indiennes étant de plus en plus nombreuses à travailler, elles se tournent de plus en plus vers les laits maternisés plutôt que vers l'allaitement, ce qui fait du marché de la nutrition infantile un fantastique "réservoir de croissance", comme on dit. Chiche que les storytellers vont bientôt nous vendre le deal Macron comme une glorieuse contribution à l'émancipation des femmes des pays émergents (et expliquer que c'est en cela qu'il est de gauche). La question, ce n'est pas Macron. Macron appliquera la politique de Hollande et Valls, c'est à dire celle de Merkel, qui semble avoir désormais renoncé à se faire passer pour celle de la France.

(I'm going to surprise you: we're breathing more freely. Yes, more freely. We know where we're going. Towards a VAT rise, Sunday trading, the destruction of the Duflot housing law, the love affair with the MEDEF (corporate union) and the real estate agencies. Towards complete, implacable, shameless renunciation. Things are clear, stated, put on the table. (...) Intellectually, it's much more reposing.

(...) Macron's main claim to infamy (or glory) is the period spent at Banque Rothschild, where he notably piloted Nestlé's buyout of Pfizer's infant nutrition branch (€9 bn, of which he got a share, no one knows how much, but "enough to be free from need for the rest of his days"). That was in 2012 (before the election). It was a colossal battle between multinationals, Nestlé finally winning against Danone. (...) Behind the fight, the Chinese and Indian baby formula markets. Chinese and Indian women going out to work in increasing numbers, are turning to powdered milk rather than breast-feeding, which makes the infant nutrition market a formidable "growth reservoir", as they say. I bet the storytellers will now sell us the Macron deal as a glorious contribution to the emancipation of women in emerging countries (and explain that this is what shows he's on the left). The question is not Macron. Macron will apply Hollande and Valls' policies, that is those of Merkel, that seem, from now on, to have given up trying to pretend they are those of France.)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 at 04:24:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / Hollande calls for special summit on eurozone growth

BRUSSELS - French president Francois Hollande has called for a summit on eurozone growth, warning that "Europe is threatened by a long and possibly interminable stagnation if we do nothing."

In a speech to his ambassadors in Paris on Thursday (August 28), Hollande said the summit is needed to co-ordinate efforts across EU capitals to stimulate growth.

"The recovery is too weak. Inflation is too low. The [value of the] euro is too high," he said.

He also repeated his demand for the EU's budgetary rules, which require governments to keep within a 3 percent deficit limit, to be applied more flexibly, nothing that "the rhythm of deficit reduction must be compatible with growth goals and weak inflation."

In response, a spokesman for the European Commission said the issues would be discussed at an informal meeting of finance ministers in Milan in early September.

Astounding that Hollande can use this language immediately after chucking Montebourg out for having said very similar things. Ah, but Montebourg didn't steer clear of Germany.

From most French MSM, you wouldn't know this Hollande speech ever took place.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Aug 29th, 2014 at 06:42:50 AM EST
So, is this going to be a supply-side austerian-left summit?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 29th, 2014 at 08:40:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just an informal chat where Sapin will serve the coffee.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Aug 29th, 2014 at 11:38:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 Now the party chairman of the PS weighs in:

>Jean-Christophe Cambadélis a déploré la façon "dont nous parle" l'Allemagne "depuis 48 heures". "Il y a entre le SPD et Mme (Angela) Merkel une grande différence. Le SPD nous tend la main, Mme Merkel nous fait la leçon", a-t-il déclaré à la tribune. "Je crois que nos deux nations ne peuvent pas avancer ensemble s'il n'y a pas du respect entre ces deux nations. Nous sommes une grande nation qui fait des efforts pour nous rassembler. Nous ne sommes pas un Länder (Land, au singulier en allemand, NDLR) allemand", a-t-il lancé. Manuel Valls a refusé mercredi un "face-à-face absurde avec l'Allemagne",<

http://www.lepoint.fr/politique/la-france-n-est-pas-un-land-allemand-selon-cambadelis-29-08-2014-185 8356_20.php

What exactly is the difference to Montebourg?

Is this whole thing a quod licet bovi non licet bovi  approach?

by IM on Sat Aug 30th, 2014 at 11:17:57 AM EST
Makes uite a flash in the german press , too.
by IM on Sat Aug 30th, 2014 at 11:19:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By Jove! (They're all bovine anyway).

Cambadélis is all the same crossing a line there, with his remark about France not being a Land. (Jove himself doesn't mention Germany other than as France's partner in blah blah). Camba is aware of what he's doing. He can't be disciplined as quickly and easily as a minister. He may be doing it because he sincerely means to support Montebourg, or because he can feel the groundswell in the party and doesn't want to be caught napping, or both at once (possible).

Meanwhile Martine Aubry (mayor of Lille) has complained about the scrapping of the Duflot law's regulation of housing rents, and asked for the exception for Paris and Lyon to be extended to Lille. That's another heavyweight taking a shot.

Valls, who is doing all he can to wave red (more like blue) rags at the entire left, got a noisy and unfriendly reception when he arrived at the PS's summer university in La Rochelle. he knows where he wants to go, and I fear he has the determination and the means to get there. He's the French Tony Blair.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2014 at 11:59:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
He's the French Tony Blair.
The appropriate pendant to Hollande, the French Zapaterro.
by Bernard on Sat Aug 30th, 2014 at 12:53:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Blair without the election victories.
by IM on Sat Aug 30th, 2014 at 12:59:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He hasn't been tested on that yet.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2014 at 01:01:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another heavyweight is Christiane Taubira (not PS but PRG, a small group pretty much subsumed into the PS), who agreed to continue as Justice Minister where she is warmly supported by the left and bitterly opposed by the right. She went to La Rochelle and ostensibly attended a meeting of the "rebels", saying she would bear responsibility for what she was doing.

After the EU summit, François Hollande communicated towards France:

François Hollande plaide pour un PS « à l'unisson » de sa politique

J'ai besoin d'avoir un parti dans la majorité qui soit à l'unisson de ce que je propose. Cela n'empêche pas le débat, ça ne coupe pas la discussion, mais elle doit être menée à bien dans la perspective que j'ai définie.

(I need a party in the majority that is in unison with what I propose. That doesn't prevent debate, it doesn't cut off discussion, but it (the discussion) should be carried out in the perspective I have defined.)

Sounds like a Communist Party local cell meeting.

Along with some vitally important exegesis:

Etre social-démocrate, c'est être socialiste, et être socialiste, c'est être social-démocrate. Tous ceux qui font confiance à la gauche doivent comprendre que cette politique est faite pour la réussite de la France.

Je n'ai pas besoin de faire des mouvements sur les mots, j'ai dit que j'étais social-démocrate, je l'ai toujours été, et c'est parce que je suis socialiste.

(To be a social democrat is to be a socialist, and to be a socialist is to be a social democrat. All those who place their trust in the left must understand that this policy is meant for the success of France.

I don't need to play with words, I said I was a social democrat, I always have been, and it's because I'm a socialist.)

Apparently he was out to clear up confusion in the minds of the French about what was going on in the governing party. Neat footwork, François.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Aug 31st, 2014 at 02:40:55 AM EST
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