By Paul Roderick Gregory – French voters went to the polls today to winnow a ten-candidate presidential field down to the “right-of-center” incumbent (Nicolas Sarkozy) and his socialist challenger (Francois Hollande). The two will face each other in a runoff election on May 6. A Sarkozy loss would be the first of an incumbent French president in thirty years. It would threaten the German-French sponsored European Union rescue package.
The French election previews the U.S. November election contest between incumbent Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney in the following four ways:
- Both Obama and Hollande offer almost identical leftist platforms.
- The sorry state of the economy gives both challengers a hefty leg-up.
A Google search confirms that the U.S. media has largely ignored the striking overlap between Democrat Obama’s and Socialist Hollande’s electoral platforms. Today’s New York Times indirectly lets the cat out of the bag.
In its In France, Using Lessons from Obama’s Election Campaign, the Times reveals that Obama loyalists have been working behind the scenes to teach French socialists community-organizer techniques. more> http://is.gd/FAgNHG
- Is There Really Any Difference Between Hollande, Sarkozy, Obama And Romney? (businessinsider.com)
- Hollande, Sarkozy heading to French vote runoff (sacbee.com)
- What Sarkozy’s Defeat Means to the Rest of the World (bigthink.com)
- French election: François Hollande happy with narrow lead over Nicolas Sarkozy (telegraph.co.uk)
- Socialist Hollande Wins First Round of French Presidential Election (commondreams.org)
- Hollande is ‘scared’, says Sarkozy, as French election enters tense runoff (guardian.co.uk)
- Commentary: French Voters Show Their Anger With Sarkozy (freeinternetpress.com)
- Facing deep likability gap vs. Obama, Romney makes case for competence, Niall Stanage, Hill
- Voters prefer Mitt Romney on economic issues but Obama leads in likability, Christian Heinze, Hill
Posted in Business, Economy, Leadership, Media
Tagged Barack Obama, François Hollande, France, Government, Leadership, Mitt Romney, Nicolas Sarkozy, Super regions
By Desmond Lachman – Two upcoming political events could usher in a new, worse phase of the European debt crisis.
The first is the French presidential election, the first round of which was scheduled for last Sunday, and the second round for two weeks later. The second is the Greek parliamentary election on May 6, which could result in the formation of the weakest of Greek governments. more> http://is.gd/VuSTCE
- Euro crisis: of morality and bankers (theneteconomy.wordpress.com)
- Hollande and Far right surge in the first round of the French presidential elections (worldviewtonight.com)
- Eurozone crisis live: Dutch government on brink after austerity talks collapse (guardian.co.uk)
- Europe’s elites feel the backlash (guardian.co.uk)
- Eurozone crisis live: Dutch pass bond auction test, but Spain’s borrowing costs nearly double (guardian.co.uk)
- Dutch government becomes latest casualty of euro debt crisis (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- Euro crisis, Syria diplomacy, NATO’s future: What’s at stake in French presidential vote, Associated Press/Washington Post
- Weidmann: Central bank can’t fix euro crisis with loose money, says deficits must come down, Associated Press/Washington Post
- ECB easing bets increase as euro crisis intensifies, Marius Zaharia, Reuters
- Worrying news: Dutch PM resigns as the euro crisis continues to claim political victims, Mats Persson, Telegraph
- Economic Gloom Deepens Europe’s Political Crisis, Marcus Walker and Charles Forelle, WSJ.com
By Harold Meyerson – The founding document of a genuinely pan-European politics isn’t one that unites the continent. To the contrary, the fiscal compact that German Chancellor Angela Merkel persuaded her European Union colleagues to embrace — with an assist from French President Nicolas Sarkozy — has given rise to bitter dissents both within and among European nations. The pact, which codifies fiscal constraints that will inflict years of economic stagnation, if not accelerated decline, on such debtor nations as Spain and Greece, has divided Europe into rival camps — the Keynesian leftists against the austerity rightists.
All politics in Europe isn’t local any more. Roll over, Bismarck, and give Clemenceau the news: The German chancellor wants to campaign for the French president. Mein Gott! Mon Dieu! OMG! more> http://tinyurl.com/7rl5pun
Posted in Banking, Economy, History, Leadership
Tagged Angela Merkel, Capital, Chancellor of Germany, European Union, Financial crisis, Government, Greece, Harold Meyerson, Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France
By Robert Marquand – A Nordic official sent to a top euro crisis meeting last fall came out complaining: When questions started percolating, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy disappeared into a room and emerged later with “answers,” the official said, that were the final word.
As Germany takes the lead and refigures Europe‘s fiscal operating system into its doctrine of austerity, questions and warnings are on the rise. more> http://is.gd/BX3y3K
Posted in Banking, Business, Economy, Leadership
Tagged Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, European sovereign debt crisis, European Union, Financial crisis, Germany, Government, Greece, Nicolas Sarkozy, United States
By Patrick Donahue – Some 157 billion euros ($203 billion) in debt will mature in the 17-member euro area in the first three months of 2012, according to UBS AG. By the end of that period, leaders have pledged to draft a stricter rulebook for controlling government spending. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy will meet in Berlin Jan. 9 to work out details.
The key to the euro’s survival may lie with Italy, the group’s third-largest economy and the second most-indebted after Greece. The government in Rome must repay 53 billion euros in debt in the first quarter, about a third of the euro area’s total amount for the period, after Prime Minister Mario Monti passed an emergency budget package aimed at curtailing borrowing costs. more> http://is.gd/zu1MYB
Posted in Banking, Economy
Tagged Angela Merkel, Berlin, Capital, Debt, Financial crisis, Greece, Italy, Mario Monti, Nicolas Sarkozy, Rome, UBS
By Robert J. Samuelson – Europe has entered an economic and political purgatory from which there is no early escape.
Any hint that a country might dump the euro would trigger runs on banks, as depositors would seek to withdraw their euros. Banks would collapse. Deprived of buyers for their debt, countries would default. This would impose further losses on banks inside and outside the defaulting country. Without viable banks, borrowers would be starved for credit.
The logic is plain. If debtors need rescuing, then the rescuers ought to have some say over the policies that might cause trouble. The potential for intrusiveness — and resentment — is obvious. Brussels might order tax increases or spending cuts. National sovereignty over basic political choices is being outsourced.
So Europe is trapped in purgatory. more> http://twurl.nl/q7w3e1
- Saving Euro Produced Sarkozy Rage as Merkel Bent Banks in Six-Day Marathon (theneteconomy.wordpress.com)
- The euro crisis comes to a head (theneteconomy.wordpress.com)
- Are the leaders in the ‘New European Union’ clueless? LinkedIn discussion
- Europe’s clueless economic solutions, Harold Meyerson, Washington Post
- Leaders Grow Further Apart on Solutions, Bernd Radowitz, Christopher Emsden and William Horobin, Wall Street Journal
- The Euro Zone’s Double Failure, Martin Feldstein, Wall Street Journal
- Europe’s Mission Hardly Accomplished, George L. Perry, Brookings
- Europe’s central banking issues, Report from Paris – 3 (ritholtz.com)
- Banks Face Crisis Of Confidence, As Europe Falls Further (huffingtonpost.com)
Posted in Banking, Economy
Tagged Angela Merkel, Bank, Currency, Deficit, European Central Bank, European Union, Financial crisis, Greece, Nicolas Sarkozy, United States
By Philipp Wittrock – It is a tone that one rarely hears from Berlin on the eve of a major European Union summit. “We have the impression that some actors still haven’t recognized the seriousness of the situation,” a senior German government official told journalists in Berlin on Wednesday.
There are many, the official added, “who are very generous and very quick when it comes to finding new sources of financing, but have difficulties when it comes to addressing the deficiencies with the euro’s design.” In order to stabilize the euro, no “baby steps” will be sufficient.
The targets of the unusually strong verbal attack by Germany are clear. They are aimed at countries that have questioned or expressed objection to the Merkel-Sarkozy stability plan as well as those who are seeking concessions or want to water the plan down in other ways. more> http://tinyurl.com/7nxr2h4
- The eurozone crisis: a terrifying race to become a diminished world power, Timothy Garton Ash, Guardian
- Merkel and Sarkozy call for immediate action in eurozone crisis, Bernd Riegert, db/dpa/Reuters/Deutsche Welle
- ECB cool on more bond buying, lending to IMF, Eva Kuehnen, Reuters
- Tech firm deals collapse on fears of double dip, Paul Kunert, Channel Register
- Will Europe achieve a solution at summit? Sumi Somaskanda, USA TODAY
- Growth More Than Debt Key to Understanding Euromess, Ezra Klein, Bloomberg
- The Eurozone in Crisis, Christopher Alessi, Council on Foreign Relations
- It is not the German mentality that brought Europe into crisis! Ernst Stetter, BlogActiv.eu
- Sarkozy and Merkel unveil two-speed EU plan to shore up euro (guardian.co.uk)
- The eurozone crisis endgame is still some way off | David Marsh (guardian.co.uk)
- Concern mounts at discord ahead of crucial euro talks 08:59 Enda Kenny to go to Marseilles for pre-summit talks with German chancellor and others (irishtimes.com)
- Merkel calls for quick move to fiscal union (marketwatch.com)
Posted in Banking, Economy, Regulations
Tagged Angela Merkel, Capital, Currency, Deficit, European Central Bank, European Union, Germany, Nicolas Sarkozy, Treaties of the European Union