10 July 2017

France is About to Get What it Voted For

I admit that the French voters were caught between the Scylla and Charbdris in the second round of voting for President. 

While Emmanuel Macron was in a number of ways a better choice than Marine Le Pen, but both the self-absorbed banker and the polished bigot were a losing proposition for the French people.

Now they have Macron, and they know that in addition to having the values of a lifelong banker, he has the ego of one as well.

First, is is attempting to make Frances nearly dictatorial Presidency even more overbearing by aggressively issuing and changing regulation by decree.

In particular, he is fixated on gutting worker protections in France, because ……… Capitalism.

Second, Macron, someone for whom distancing France from the EU is unthinkable, is looking to shower tax cuts on bankers and the finance industry, because as a banker, he believes that whatever is good for the bankers is good for the country:
The French Prime Minister on Friday laid out a raft of measures aimed at boosting Paris's attractiveness to high finance in order to cash in on Britain's exit from the European Union, including cutting income tax for high earning bankers and opening international schools.

France continues to make eyes at London's bankers and on Friday the Prime Minister Edouard Philippe laid out a raft of measures to attract financiers who may have to leave London when the UK leaves the EU.

Among them are scrapping a plan to widen a current 0.3 percent tax on financial transactions, eliminating the top income tax bracket for top earning bankers (those picking up over €150,000 a year), and keeping bonuses out of the calculation of severance pay for "risk-takers" such as stockbrokers in order to make redundancies less expensive.

Those measures might have been unthinkable in France under the previous government of former President François Hollande, who famously declared the world of finance was his "enemy", but given the fight for the scraps from the Brexit fallout, France under former banker Emmanuel Macron seems prepared to do whatever it takes to fight off the competition.
This really isn't about competing with Frankfurt or Brussels, they simply lack the living infrastructure to appeal to the banksters, the bankers who would want to move there already live in these (dull) cities or (even duller) Switzerland.

Places like Madrid and Rome are simply too unstable politically and socially to compete, given the secessionist movements (Spain) and a potential Greek style economic collapse (Italy).

I suppose that Amsterdam might be a possibility, but it's rather eclectic nature (see their red light district, defacto legalization of pot, etc.) might require a significant change in the governance and culture of that city.

The real reason that he is making much of a competition for bankers. even though it's pretty clear that they contribute to the overall well-being of society in the same manner that tapeworms contribute to the overall well-being of a dog, is because he wants to make nice with People Like Him.

It's bankster tribalism, and the French people will suffer for it.

Thankfully, his latter effort might be blunted by EU budget rules, as it would open a gaping hole in the French budget, and the Germans won't tolerate that, both because they fetishized balanced budgets, and because want the to draw as as much of the finance industry to Germany as possible.


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