The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

Foreign investment in France thrives despite gripes — for now

By Peter Gumbel
October 17, 2013

In France these days, every new industrial investment is welcomed with open arms, so when the Japanese machine-tools manufacturer Amada announced in mid-September that it was putting an additional $50 million into its existing production facilities, no fewer than two government ministers showed up for the signing ceremony. Much to their embarrassment, however, the chief executive officer of Amada, Mitsuo Okamoto, gave an interview that morning to a national French daily in which he castigated the national business climate, and said that if the company hadn’t already been in France for 40 years, “we would think twice about investing here for the first time.”

from The Great Debate:

The minister who dreams of a reindustrialized France

By Peter Gumbel
September 23, 2013

The body of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Louis XIV’s wily finance minister, is encased in a marble tomb in the Church of Saint Eustache in central Paris. But if you believe Arnaud Montebourg, the enfant terrible of French politics, his spirit is still very much alive, 330 years after his death, and about to spark a new, digital-age industrial revolution in France.

from The Great Debate:

Is France closing for business?

By Peter Gumbel
May 23, 2012

Arnaud Montebourg, a member of the French parliament, has a problem with the iPhone. He thinks consumers in France should pay more for it than they already do. Why? Because, he says, the iPhone is made by “exploited” laborers in China who are taking away the jobs of French workers and the best way to redress that is by putting in place trade barriers and taxes that will stop “excessive imports.”

Hollande’s programme marks return of the Ancien Régime

May 10, 2012

By Laurence Copeland. The opinions expressed are his own.

Seeing the dewy-eyed kids at the post-election celebrations in Paris, I couldn’t help thinking how crazy it all was. The youngsters were plainly convinced they had a president to take their country forward into the new dawn -  after all, he campaigned under the slogan  “Le changement, c’est maintenant”. In reality, Francois Hollande’s programme is unambiguously regressive, with its stop-the-world-we-want-to-get-off determination to go in the opposite direction to every other country, its refusal to countenance any erosion of the country’s ruinously expensive welfare state and its complacent confidence that there is nothing to stop France carrying on as before. What better place to greet the return of the Ancien Régime than the Place de la Bastille?

What would markets and Merkel make of Hollande?

February 13, 2012

It’s time I came out of the closet and ‘fessed up. My friends, colleagues and family all know anyway, so ……OK, here goes.

Put the euro zone out of its misery

November 9, 2011

By Laurence Copeland. The author is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School. The opinions expressed are his own.

Capitalism and democracy under threat from euro zone crisis

November 3, 2011

By Laurence Copeland. The author is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School. The opinions expressed are his own.

The euro zone marriage is over

October 10, 2011

By Laurence Copeland. The opinions expressed are his own.

Under the Arc de Triomphe, tourists can gaze up at the engraved list of Napoleon’s great victories: Austerlitz, Jena, Wagram… Perhaps a similar triumphal arch should be built in Brussels to commemorate the string of victories won by a tiny band of heroic Eurocrats over the mass of their combined electorates: Rome, Maastricht, Lisbon, Wroclaw, and now Berlin, where, to nobody’s surprise, the integrationists in the Bundestag have easily seen off the opposition to their plan to bolster the EFSF. Cue the now-familiar backslapping in Europe after each of their knife-edge victories over the forces of democracy.

from Global News Journal:

UNsensational? Five more years of Ban Ki-moon

February 16, 2011

U.S. Senators Joseph Lieberman and John Kerry look on as U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon addresses reporters in Washington. REUTERS/Molley Riley

U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman and John Kerry look on as U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon addresses reporters in Washington. REUTERS/Molley Riley

from James Saft:

Pension savers get the boot

November 30, 2010

From Dublin to Paris to Budapest to inside those brown UPS trucks delivering holiday packages, it has been a tough few weeks for savers and retirees.