French Industry Minister Wants Lower Euro And Currency War Entry ASAP: Demands ECB Start Monetizing Debt

Tyler Durden's picture


The French industry minister, Arnaud Montebourg, appears to have taken a break from writing rambling, factless letters to US CEOs who have in the past week openly snubbed and ridiculed his demands to provide jobs to the French labor unions, and instead has focused his brilliant socialist mind on something far more appropriate of its unique polymathness: currency wars, and specifically demands that the ECB finally "get involved." Why? Because if it has not been made clear in the past month, France now blames its lack of expert competitiveness not on the same issues previously highlighted by Maurice Taylor such as disintegrating work ethic and a complete lack of competitive productivity, but on the soaring EURUSD - the same soaring EURUSD (well, not soaring so much in the past few weeks) which is also crushing German exports, but because it is crushing France even more, both Merkel and Weidmann are delighted to put up with it. As a result, Montebourg will have no more of it.

As Dow Jones reports "Mr. Montebourg said that within the current European treaties the ECB can be more pragmatic and less dogmatic. It should act more like other major central banks, which Mr. Montebourg said had monetized debt...There are efforts to be made to bring order to public finances, but thinking that the entire effort should come from taxes and spending cuts is excessive. We should share part of the effort with the monetization of debt." And so a French industry minister, who has already been humiliated once on the international arena in the current month, is about to get his second stern talkdown, this time over what happens when you try to "teach" Merkel and the Bundesbank a lesson. Expect more inbound letters into Arnaud's inbox, which we expect will be even more amusing than those penned by Taylor.

From the WSJ:

France's industry minister Tuesday called for a lower euro and said the European Central Bank's role should be reinterpreted, wading back into a currency debate that had been calmed by an agreement between the world's top finance ministers earlier in the month to refrain from competitive devaluations of their currencies.


"I am for a less-strong euro," Arnaud Montebourg said at a meeting with journalists in Paris, adding that it is "good news" the euro has recently declined against other currencies.


The single currency has fallen around 4.6% against the U.S. dollar since the beginning of February.


"I am very happy, [the decline] should continue," Mr. Montebourg added.


Earlier this year, French officials complained about the euro being too strong and making the country's exports less competitive. In a speech to the EU parliament in early February, French President Francois Hollande said the euro shouldn't be left to fluctuate according to the mood of the markets and warned that a strong euro wipes out efforts to make economies more competitive.


However, later in February, finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 industrial and emerging countries agreed they would refrain from competitive devaluation and would not target exchange rates for competitive purposes. That commitment has reduced the number of comments from European politicians on the euro and the ECB.


Still, the industry minister also said Tuesday the role of the European Central Bank should be reinterpreted. The Frankfurt based institution's primary mandate is to fight inflation, but Mr. Montebourg said that within the current European treaties the ECB can be more pragmatic and less dogmatic. It should act more like other major central banks, which Mr. Montebourg said had monetized debt.


"There are efforts to be made to bring order to public finances, but thinking that the entire effort should come from taxes and spending cuts is excessive. We should share part of the effort with the monetization of debt, which is natural because it is directly linked to the errors of the banking industry which the central bank did not sufficiently monitor in the past," Mr. Montebourg said.

Perhaps most importantly, the cracks within the European facade are now appearing, as more and more demand that Draghi throw in the towel and proceed to enact the OMT debt monetization, instead of just talking about it: something we predicted would happen some time ago, and as we said, all that was needed was a crisis to allow the ECB to go ahead and monetize debt outright now that it is rapidly falling behind the globla race to debase, and as the market no longer gives it credit for unlimited "off-balance sheet" liabilities.

Sure enough Italy was just that "crisis" that will not be allowed to go to waste.

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Tue, 02/26/2013 - 09:44 | 3277173 GetZeeGold
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He means print.....more.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 09:46 | 3277177 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

Or moar more.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 09:47 | 3277182 knukles
knukles's picture

What in God's name does he think they're already doing?

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 09:55 | 3277217 knukles
knukles's picture

Did it just flash by real fast?

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:03 | 3277244 GetZeeGold
Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:59 | 3277367 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



We should share part of the effort with the monetization of debt, which is natural because it is directly linked to the errors of the banking industry which the central bank did not sufficiently monitor in the past,"

Despite the fact that monetization benefits the banks and is paid for by the people [we] via the inflation tax

This guy is either really evil, really stupid, or both.

Besides, we don't need no stinkin' French exports; we can make our own cheese and our own onion soup... we did last night.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 11:12 | 3277523 Svendblaaskaeg
Svendblaaskaeg's picture

Yammi! - and horseless I'm sure

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 11:18 | 3277547 francis_sawyer
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IKEA issued a statement that there was NO HORSEMEAT in US meatballs... So we have that going for us...

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 12:33 | 3277953 thisandthat
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My question about US meat is if it still can be called meat, after all the drugs it's stuffed with...

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 13:01 | 3278075 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

No meat in US horseballs ?

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 16:19 | 3278899 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

If Obamafuhrer chooses to furlough all the meat inspectors.... along side the air traffic controllers and illegal aliens imprisoned for violent crimes, then maybe some horse will get in there.    

It is tougher to find horsemeat here after Congress banned slaughtering them within the 50 states, even for dog food etc, purely on aesthetic and emotional grounds.     But then you legislate with the Democrat Party you have and not the one you might like to have.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 12:14 | 3277867 Joe A
Joe A's picture

No, you can't. Nothing tops French cheeses.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 12:44 | 3277935 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Au contrair, mon ami...



...Mrs. Horseman and our milking shorthorn, Princess Buttercup, certainly can, and regularly do, top the finest French cheeses, such as Brie de Meaux

We have been to dairies and fromageries in France; there is no secret.  However, feel free to pay to import cheese from the other side of the world. 



Tue, 02/26/2013 - 13:01 | 3278073 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

DIY.  Nice.  Our friend has goats and we get good non-corporate yogurt.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 13:31 | 3278185 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

@h_h ~~~ I have some 18 month old parmesean & some recently made camembert... It looks like we use the same molds for the presses... I used the same bamboo skirts as well...

Mrs. h_h must be a busy lady...

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 13:48 | 3278257 hedgeless_horseman
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Blessed are the cheesemakers,
For they know the whey.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 16:40 | 3279006 akak
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Blessed are the yogurtmakers,
For they are cultured.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 16:30 | 3278863 Joe A
Joe A's picture

I salute you for your cheese making! A noble art. I assume you do realize that there is more to French cheese than Brie and Camembert? The secret -although not really a secret- is the breed of cows/goats/ewes and the composition of the grass and flowers growing on the meadow or mountain ranges. And of course the cellar with its moulds.

De Gaulle said once: "how is one expected to rule a country that has more than 325 cheeses?". (Now you know why France is a mess, it is ungovernable). Unfortunately, many small producers have stop producing although some people have started reviving some lost cheeses. For me, the smellier the better. Although I don't particularly like the idea of the Corsican cheeses where they have to pour liquor over the cheese to get rid of the cheese mite.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 16:54 | 3278963 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



I assume you do realize that there is more to French cheese than Brie and Camembert?

Oui.  For example, La Fromagerie des Courmettes produces many fine examples of typical French goat cheeses par excellence.  Plus, the view is magnificent.



Tue, 02/26/2013 - 17:26 | 3279257 Joe A
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And there are many more. The French have turned cheese making into a refined art. Nothing better, filling and satifying than a simple meal of the holy trinity of cheese, bread and wine. Or an elaborate cheese platter after a big meal. The economy with its tight regulations is a mess but I could very well imagine myself living there and enjoying their cheeses and wines.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:03 | 3277245 Sudden Debt
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Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:04 | 3277233 TruthInSunshine
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More from article on front page of of Le Monde Oignon (English Edition):

France's industry minister, Arnaud Montebourg, is urging his government, fellow EU member states & the European Central Bank to win the race to debase their currency (and living standards, vis-a-vis a loss of purchasing power of wages, including labor union wages), in order to boost the competitiveness of French industry, manufacturing & exports (soft cheeses & once dropped rifles).

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:34 | 3277340 pods
pods's picture

There is a growing nationalism to bring back the chauchat..............



Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:02 | 3277239 Sudden Debt
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some people call it flashbacks but it's actually the system resetting...

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 09:58 | 3277227 kliguy38
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He's tellin' the bitchez to make that printer TO SMOOOOOKE

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:14 | 3277277 knukles
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Whilst lathering my nuts in the shower an epiphany awakened.
Within 3 days of the French Libyan incursion they asked America for more bombs, having run out. (Hallmark of a true world power)
To even get to Mali for their incursion they had to get rides from the USAF, having no long distance CV2 taxis.
So, for the additional printing may we properly assume they'll be requesting the services of the US Mint?

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 12:18 | 3277886 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

France: - Faster!

ECB: - It's faster, already!

France: - Faster, then!

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 09:48 | 3277183 redpill
redpill's picture

What a shocking and original idea from a central planner.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 09:45 | 3277174 LawsofPhysics
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"Start monetizing debt" - WTF?!?!?  

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:01 | 3277235 Sudden Debt
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Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:02 | 3277241 EscapeKey
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on the local level, he'll no doubt soon demand the ecb monetizes the debt of his union members.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:03 | 3277242 Jayda1850
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I know, pretty scary shit. He treats it like its just another normal policy tool, like lowering interests rates. These people are absolutely insane.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:07 | 3277255 EscapeKey
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i wouldn't call "lowering interest rates" a "normal policy tool" - especially not, seeing the extent of its abuse over the past decade or two.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:09 | 3277264 Terminus C
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lowering interest rates is, essentially, printing money (monetizing debts).

Your error is ironic in this context...

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:10 | 3277266 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

They are not insane, they are desparate.  They know that there is no fucking real value in their labor, but that they have enjoyed massive compensation.  They are more vsalueabe as worm-food or fertilizer, roll the fucking guillotines already.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:27 | 3277316 Spastica Rex
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Brigitte Bardot




Lots of good French things.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:14 | 3277273 Sudden Debt
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Hell figure it out when hookers start charging 50 euro for a simple blowjob instead of a 20...

then it will all become just all to real...

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:14 | 3277279 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

i'm pretty sure there's a latvian hooker index, or something along those lines? (can't google that; at work)

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:17 | 3277287 knukles
Tue, 02/26/2013 - 11:53 | 3277743 H E D G E H O G
H E D G E H O G's picture

you've got a JOB??? :)

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:55 | 3277432 BurningFuld
BurningFuld's picture

All your savings they are belong to us!


In other news: Out print Benny Bucks Bernanky? Surely he jests.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 09:46 | 3277176 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

It should act more like other major central banks, which Mr. Montebourg said had monetized debt.

Surely, Mr. Montebourg cannot be speaking of our dear Central Bank here in the good ol' FSA - Fascist States of Amerikkka?

Didn't Chairman Ben proudly proclaim once that he was indeed not going to monetize the debt?

About which "major central banks" was Mr. Montebourg speaking?

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 09:51 | 3277187 knukles
knukles's picture

Only minor central banks monetize debt.



Just gotta fucking love CNBS et al, the whole reason for the worldwide kerfuffle is the Italian elections.
Not the EU and Euro being unmanageable, falling apart, worldwide currency wars, etc, etc, etc.
Nope, the "election"

Excuses, excuses, excuses.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:09 | 3277261 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

you don't actually expect a politician to *gasp* take responsibility for anything, now do you?

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 09:49 | 3277191 redpill
redpill's picture

That's right, them froggies better not keep this up or else we might....


.....DUN DUN DUN.......



Tue, 02/26/2013 - 09:52 | 3277206 knukles
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And then vote in the US Senate to change the name on the menu AGAIN to Freedom Fries.
Teach them smelly cheese eaters a thing or two.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 12:17 | 3277881 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Ask them in Iraq if they are enjoying 'freedom fries'.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 16:23 | 3278912 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Islam + ethnic hatred + tribalism was a problem in Iraq, to which the solution was Saddam Hussein & his coalition of psychos.    The original problems are still there.    See "Yugoslavia" and "Tito" and "Serbia" and "Kosovo"

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:11 | 3277270 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

After World War II, France devalued its currency within the Bretton Woods system on several occasions. Beginning in 1945 at a rate of 480 francs to the British pound (119.1 to the U.S. dollar), by 1949 the rate was 980 to the pound (350 to the dollar). This was reduced further in 1957 and 1958, reaching 1382.3 to the pound (493.7 to the dollar, equivalent to 1 franc = 1.8 mg pure gold).

[edit] New franc

The value of the new French franc, in 2007 euros.

When the euro replaced the franc on 1 January 1999, the franc was worth less than an eighth of its original 1960 value

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 09:49 | 3277188 Iocosus
Iocosus's picture

Any other tire factory buyers? Anybody?

Okay, let's destroy the EURO and get some souffle.

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